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Rapid Reaction: Georgetown Hoyas Beat Indiana Hoosiers 91-87

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Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Our usual recap guru OverTheHilltop is keeping it casual over the holidays, so with permission here are the recaps from @Hoyas247 and @MexCarey!

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It was a tale of two halves for the Georgetown Hoyas this afternoon in their matchup with the Indiana Hoosiers as the Blue and Gray struggled mightily to finish around the rim in the first half helping them fall into a 40-30 hole after 20 minutes of play.

However, the Hoyas did a fine job of facing adversity and bouncing back to eliminate the Hoosiers double-digit lead thanks to big performances from D'Vauntes Smith-RiveraJosh Smith and Aaron Bowen.

Here are five thoughts from Georgetown's victory over Indiana.

1) Georgetown was able to win despite struggling to defend the perimeter

The Hoyas did a fairly bad job of defending the perimeter again this afternoon as Indiana shot 41.9% from beyond the arc in the game. However, unlike their loss to the Kansas Jayhawks, Georgetown was able to overcome a ten-point deficit by attacking the paint as the Hoyas outscored Indiana on the interior 54-26. Georgetown definitely made more of an effort to close out on shooters from the outside today but Indiana was still able to convert at a high percentage, this will need to improve as we head into conference play.

2) Aaron Bowen was the difference in the game

Aaron Bowen finished the Hoyas win with a career-high 22 points, with 14 of them coming in the second half and overtime. As he has all season Bowen brought the energy that was needed in order for Georgetown to climb back into the game. With Josh Smith in foul trouble Bowen was inserted into the group that started the second half and helped the Hoyas keep Indiana from extending their lead to start the second half. Following the game, Hoyas head coach John Thompson III again reiterated that Bowen's play has been reminiscent of Patrick Ewing Jr's during his time on the Hilltop where he was named Big East 6th Man of the Year.

3) D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera played like the Big East Preseason Player of the Year

If Aaron Bowen was one of the big reasons why the Hoyas were able to make this comeback this afternoon then D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera was the other major reason as his 29 points led all scorers this afternoon. Smith-Rivera made a number of important shots down the stretch, including multiple three pointers to start the second half.These are the types of performances that many have expected out of the Hoyas junior this season.

4) Josh Smith provided a major presence on the interior in the second half

While the first half was mired by foul trouble for the Hoyas starting center he was one of the big reasons why they were able to get back into the game, and hold the lead in the overtime period, as he controlled the paint and was fed the ball continuously by his teammates. Even when Indiana started running men at Josh every time he was able to get a post touch he remained under control and used his body to create space to either attempt a shot or find an open teammate. With Smith set to go through the Big East schedule for the first time this is the type of play we'll need to continue to see.

5) Georgetown is a team that can beat opponents in a variety of ways

Georgetown may have taken Indiana's best shot this afternoon and been able to walk away with a gritty overtime win which is telling of what this team is capable of as the opening 20 minutes were far from picture perfect for the Hoyas. Georgetown was dominant in the paint and still managed to convert on 7/11 attempts from the perimeter as Smith-Rivera caught fire from beyond the arc in the second half. Had the Hoyas been able to convert a decent percentage at the foul line, they only shot 53.8%, overtime wouldn't have been needed today. This team is in no way a finished product at this stage of the season but wins like the one the Hoyas were able to pull off today say a lot about the will to win of each and every player in that locker room.

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Smith-Rivera’s 29 Points Lead Four in Double Figures as Georgetown Beats Indiana, 91-87, in Overtime

NEW YORK – Junior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central/Oak Hill) scored 29 points, including 24 in the second half and overtime, as Georgetown overcame a 10-point halftime deficit and used a 7-0 spurt in overtime to beat Indiana, 91-87, in the Indeed Invitational at Madison Square Garden on Saturdayafternoon.

It was the third-straight win, and the fourth in the last five games for the Hoyas, who improved to 8-3 overall, while Indiana falls to 10-3.

Smith-Rivera matched his season-high of 29 points, hitting 9-of-18 shots from the floor and 5-of-7 3-points field goals, four of them in the second half to lead four players in double figures.  Senior guard Aaron Bowen (Jacksonville, Fla./QEA [N.C.]) scored a career-high 22 points and had four rebounds, senior center Joshua Smith (Kent, Wash./Kentwood/UCLA) scored 14 points – 12 in the second half – and had six rebounds and senior guard Jabril Trawick (Philadelphia, Pa./Abington Friends)added 12 points and seven rebounds.

In overtime, the Hoyas scored the first seven points, with baskets from Smith sandwiched around a 3-pointer from Smith-Rivera, giving GU an 84-77 lead.  Indiana pulled to within 88-85 on free throws from James Blackmon Jr. with 53 seconds left, but a tidy pull-up jumper from Smith-Rivera with 23 seconds left pushed the lead to 90-85.  The Hoosiers were off the mark on a 3-pointer from Ferrell with 15 seconds left and Bowen hit 1-of-2 free throws to ice the game.

GU had trailed by 10 points (40-30) at the break and 42-30 early in the half before chipping away at the lead.  Consecutive 3-point baskets from Smith-Rivera and a layup from Bowen made it 47-38.  Another three from Smith-Rivera made it 49-41, but the Hoosiers pushed the lead back to 10 points, 51-41, on a layup from Robert Johnson with 14:37 to play in the game.

That’s when Georgetown really turned it on, using a 17-3 run over a span of 6:10 to take a 58-54 lead on a layup from freshman forward L.J. Peak (Gaffney, S.C./Gaffney)with 7:33 to play in the game.  The run started with a 7-0 spurt, with free throws and a layup from Smith and a 3-pointer from Bowen at the 12:26 mark.  A layup from Trawick cut the lead to one point, 51-50, before a three from James Blackmon Jr. gave IU a 54-40 lead.  The Hoyas responded with an 8-0 run to take the lead after a jumper from freshman forward Paul White (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young) and layups from Smith-Rivera, Bowen and Peak.

GU led 66-64 after a jumper from Bowen with 4:43 to play, but the Hoosiers took a 69-66 lead after a 3-point from Yogi Ferrell and a Troy Williams layup. The Hoyas responded with an 8-0 run and took a 74-69 lead on a jumper from Smith-Rivera with1:37 to play in the game. The lead was still five points, 76-71, after a Trawick jumper, but Ferrell hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final minute to tie the game at 77-all.  GU had a chance to win it in the waning moments but could not connect.

Trailing by 10 points, 40-30, at the break, the Hoyas chipped away at the lead as the second half started.  Consecutive 3-point baskets from Smith-Rivera and a layup from Bowen made it

Indiana led by 10 points, 40-30, at the half, thanks largely to its three-point shooting, as the Hoosiers hit 7-of-13 shots from long distance.

Georgetown took a pair of early leads, first at 4-3 on a layup from Peak just over two minutes into the game and then at 8-7 on a jumper from senior forward Mikael Hopkins (Hyattsville, Md./DeMatha) with 15:40 to play.  Tied at 12-all following a layup from Bowen with 12:54 to play, the Hoosiers took an 18-12 lead after consecutive three-pointers from Blackmon Jr. and Ferrell.  A three from Trawick and a layup from Peak cut the lead to 18-17, but a three-pointer from Blackmonm Jr. pushed the lead back to four points, 23-19.

Smith-Rivera hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to 23-22 with 7:52 to play, but Indiana out-scored Georgetown 17-8 over the final 7:02 of the half – connecting on three 3-pointers – and took a 40-30 lead after a Troy Williams layup with two seconds left.

The Hoyas finished the game shooting 51.5 percent from the floor (35-of-68), including 58.3 percent from 3-point land (7-of-12) and were 53.8 percent from the free throw line (14-of-26).  IU held a 40-35 advantage on the boards, handed out 16 assists and had 13 steals.

Georgetown starts BIG EAST Conference play on Wednesday, Dec. 31, traveling to play at Xavier in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Tip-off is slated for 10 p.m. during the BIG EAST Conference New Year’s Eve Marathon, which will air on Fox Sports 1.  Brian Davis will handle the play-by-play, while Bob Wenzel will serve as the color analyst.  The radio call can be heard on ESPN 980 AM.