Georgetown Holds Off Late Rally To Upset No. 13 Creighton
WASHINGTON — D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera had 18 points and a career-high 12 rebounds Tuesday night, and Georgetown frustrated Doug McDermott until late in the game, holding off a rally led by the nation’s leading scorer in a 75-63 win over No. 13 Creighton.
Markel Starks added 17 points and a career-best 11 assists, and Jabril Trawick had 15 points and seven rebounds for the Hoyas (17-12, 8-9 Big East), who shot 54 percent and advanced their cause as a bubble team for the NCAA tournament. They also still have a chance to be one of the six teams in the overhauled, 10-team Big East to get a bye in next week’s conference tournament.
McDermott scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half, making a series of 3-pointers that helped cut a 16-point deficit to five. He was 3 for 10 from the field in the first half and 9 for 23 for the game, including 4 of 11 from 3-point range.
The Bluejays (23-6, 13-4) have lost two straight and are left with an outside chance at winning the regular-season title in their first year in the conference. They will need to win their final game against Providence and hope that first-place Villanova loses to both Xavier and Georgetown.
McDermott, averaging 26 points entering the game, was held to 14 — his second-lowest tally of the season — in a win over Georgetown in January, a game in which his teammates picked up the slack from his 5-for-15 shooting night.
This time, the help was not as forthcoming until the final minutes. Grant Gibbs (17 points) hit a 3-pointer to make the score 66-61 with 1:42 to play, but Starks fed Aaron Bowen for a layup, and a pair of free throws by Trawick gave the Hoyas a nine-point lead with less than a minute remaining.
The Bluejays shot 40 percent and made 10 of 29 3-point attempts. Austin Chatman added 14 points for Creighton.
Mikael Hopkins and Bowen took turns clinging to McDermott and rattling him most of the game. Hopkins rejected McDermott’s layup attempt early in the first half, and Bowen stepped in front of McDermott to steal a pass from Gibbs, leading to a fast-break alley-oop from Starks to Trawick.
Trawick dunked the ball and beat his chest, celebrating a 34-23 lead.
The Hoyas were ahead 42-28 at halftime and led by 16 early in the second half. McDermott missed a pair of free throws with the deficit still in double digits, but he soon started to find his range. He made two 3-pointers in a 30-second span to make the score 59-50 with 8 minutes remaining.
The Bluejays played without freshman guard Isaiah Zierden, who hurt his right knee in Saturday’s loss to Xavier.
The Hoyas honored their seniors before their final home game. At halftime, the school announced that a new, on-campus Intercollegiate Athletics Center will be named after Hall of Fame coach John Thompson Jr.
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