Georgetown shook off a slow start to overwhelm Radford with its size and athleticism Saturday, ratcheting up its defense and pushing the pace offensively to run away from the Highlanders, 76-49. The Hoyas pounded the glass, jumped the passing lanes, and ran the floor, flying over and past the over-matched Highlanders. Fittingly, the star of the day was athlete-in-chief Aaron Bowen, who scored a career-high 16 points on a series of drives, cuts, and fast-break finishes that exemplified Georgetown's advantage over the visitors.
The Hoyas simply bigger and faster than Radford, a fact that permeated the box score. Georgetown forced 17 turnovers, including 10 steals, four by freshman Tre Campbell. The Hoyas turned those swipes into 18 points, mostly easy baskets at the rim in the open court.
Georgetown also dominated the interior. On the glass, the Hoyas grabbed 47 percent of their missed shots, turning 15 offensive rebounds into 10 second-chance points. On the other end, the good guys allowed Radford, generally a strong offensive rebounding team, just 7 second chances. The Hoyas also were more accurate inside the arc, shooting 56 percent on two-point range to Radford's 41 percent.
Those physical advantages didn't immediately pay dividends. In the opening minutes, Georgetown trailed 9-7 after some slow defensive rotations allowed Radford easy, open shots. The Hoyas began to tighten the screws defensively but also went scoreless for three-plus minutes, meaning that they led by just three with under six minutes to play in the opening half.
But then Georgetown's stingy defense aligned with an opportunistic offense. A ten-point Hoya run put the lead at double-digits entering the half, with all of the offense coming in transition or semi-transition. Georgetown picked up after the break right where it left off, ripping off a 21-2 streak that culminated with a pair of Paul White three-pointers sandwiched around a Bowen dunk. All of a sudden, Georgetown's lead was 30, and the Highlanders had scored just 4 points in 11-plus minutes.
Both early and late, Georgetown went far into its bench, to good effect. One game after going just seven deep in a frustrating loss to Kansas, eleven Hoyas notched double-figure minutes, and all eleven scored, eight in the first half alone. Bowen and Campbell, who played just four combined minutes against the Jayhawks, made the most of the increased run.
Beyond those two reserves, the entire rotation benefited from long stretches without Smith-Rivera or Joshua Smith on the floor. In these alignments, Mikael Hopkins (5 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 2 steals) distributed from the high post, while White (12 points, 1 assist) handled the ball, particularly in transition. Also encouraging was Jabril Trawick's game-high 7 assists, many in the second half after picking up a couple of first-half pushing fouls, which sadly have become borderline trademark for him. Trawick has had a rough go of it in Georgetown's higher-profile games, and hopefully can establish an offensive rhythm heading into conference play.
Unsurprisingly, there wasn't much to complain about in the 27-point shellacking of a pretty decent team. Aside from the slow start, the only real sour note was the continued shooting woes of Smith-Rivera, who made just 1 of 9 field goal attempts. DSR continues to get involved in other ways, grabbing 4 rebounds, handing out 5 assists, and swiping a pair of steals, and he's too good of a shooter to hoist up bricks forever. But his 4-of-24 combined shooting line from the past two games is ugly, and needs to improve before the competition stiffens.
Speaking of which, Georgetown's opponents will get tougher starting next Saturday, when the Hoyas face a frisky Charlotte team that has the size and has beaten a couple of high-majors (okay, okay, Penn State and South Carolina) while throwing scares into a couple more. Only Indiana remains on the non-conference schedule after that, meaning Saturday was Georgetown's last real dress rehearsal. It was a good one, and a helpful reminder that the Hoyas have the potential to be really good this season. Hoya Saxa.