Well, that was fun. Georgetown rattled off 52 points after the half Thursday night, blowing open an already one-sided affair en route to a 80-45 stomping of High Point. The Hoyas continued to tighten their defense while also clicking offensively, particularly after intermission.
Throughout the night, the Hoya defense clamped down on the over-matched Panther offense. High Point shot just 19 percent from the field for the first half, frequently finding that their point total more closely resembled the number of elapsed minutes than Georgetown's score. For their part, the Hoyas came out firing, cutting into and passing around a Panther zone to hit a slew of early three-pointers. D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, Markel Starks, Jabril Trawick, and Reggie Cameron all hit first-half threes as Georgetown quickly opened up a double-digit lead.
The Georgetown offense soon stalled, as offensively anemic lineups and careless ball-handling led to wasted possessions. But the lead never really shrunk, as High Point just couldn't find the hoop. The Panthers connected on just 1 of 11 three-pointers during the first half, particularly struggling when Georgetown forced High Point into the half court. By intermission, the Panthers had managed just 16 points, allowing a mediocre Hoya attack a 12-point cushion.
Much like its 13-point run after the half against Lipscomb, Georgetown came out firing after the break against High Point. Starks hit a nifty runner, one of an increasingly diverse arsenal of shots around the rim, and then buried a three off a Smith-Rivera kick out. DSR then got his own chance, converting a spinning and-one in transition, before Trawick found Nate Lubick for a baby hook in the lane.
The lead had swelled past 20, and soon grew further. The baskets came from all comers: Joshua Smith (11 points) converted a post up; Smith-Rivera hit a pair of 3s and finished a feed from Starks; and Starks converted a back-door look from Lubick. Suddenly, the lead was up to 30, and the game was beyond doubt.
The three Hoyas in double figures were familiar names, as Starks had an efficient and game-high 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting, Smith-Rivera tallied 17 points to go with 5 rebounds and 4 assists, and Smith notched 11 on just 7 shots. There was a lot else to like, as Trawick (6 points, 4 assists) and Lubick (2 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists) provided quality glue play, Cameron (9 points) hit three triples, Mikael Hopkins (9 points, 6 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal) finished a number of opportunities around the rim.
The aggregate numbers were impressive as well: Georgetown assisted on 23 of 32 made baskets, and shot a solid 10 of 24 from deep. The Hoyas also passed the eye test offensively, beating the perils of zone defense with quick and precise passing, effective penetration, and early offense. Georgetown's defense also is rounding into form, as the Hoyas have held consecutive opponents below 50 points en route to a pair of blowout victories. Rotations are becoming cripser, closeouts cleaner, and communication better.
Thursday's win is Georgetown's fifth of the season, with two more games remaining on the current home-stand before a high-profile trip to Kansas. The first of those two games is Saturday at noon against a sharp-shooting Colgate squad, leaving precious little time for rest and even less margin for sluggishness. But tonight was a very good result and can be savored for at least the next few hours.