This is a really fun sport when your grad-transfer sharpshooter shoots 10-12 from beyond the three point arc to break the program record. The Georgetown Hoyas (4-4) boat-raced the UMBC Terriers (5-4) on Wednesday night at Capital One Arena. Kaiden Rice, bouncing back after a really rough game on Sunday, had a career-high in points (34). Freshman center Ryan Mutombo scored a career high 15 points (7-15 FGs) with 11 rebounds, while Dante Harris and Aminu Mohammed each chipped in 13 points (5-10 FG and 1-2 3PT each).
Rice with 34 points is the second most under Ewing.— Bobby Bancroft (@BobbyBancroft) December 9, 2021
Mac McClung had 38 in an OT win over Arkansas Little Rock in Dec 2018
The Hoya defense held up when it needed to with UMBC scoring only 31 in the second half and shooting 35.7% for the game on 25 for 70 from the field, while making 11 of 31 three-pointers. Georgetown out-rebounded the Retrievers 61-30 with 21 offensive rebounds for GU and 9 offensive boards for UMBC. Georgetown shot 50% from the field (39-78) and 57% from three (13-23) for the game.
At tip-off, UMBC started Keondre Kennedy (6’6”), L.J. Owens (6’3”), Darnell Rogers (5’2”), Dimitrije Spasojevic (6’8”), and Jacob Boonyasith (6’3”). The Hoyas started off about as good as you could play, starting Dante Harris, Donald Carey, Aminu Mohammed, Kaiden Rice, and Malcom Wilson. Starting Wilson paid off with two early blocks. UMBC kept going down low and settling for jump shots and Georgetown was OK with it as they went out to a 22-10 lead.
The pendulum would swing back in the first half as UMBC countered with removing the 6’9” Szymon Wojcik from the lineup and going smaller, using Yaw Obeng-Mensah (6’7”) and fighting back to 22-18 and UMBC then went on a run to jump ahead 31-33 with 5:49 left in the half. Georgetown led 48-40 at halftime on the back of some great shooting by Rice and solid playmaking by Harris and Mohammed.
For the first half, the Hoyas shot 19 for 35 from the field, going 7 for 13 from three, while UMBC was 14-35 from the field and 8-17 from three. Owens was 4-6 from three and Boonyasith made two of three from beyond the arc. Rice led with 14 points on 5-6 from the field and 4-5 from beyond, while Mohammed had 11 points (4-7 FGs, 1-2 3FG) and 8 rebounds and Harris scored 12 points on 5-8 from the field and 1-2 for three. In the half, Harris had 4 assists, Aminu had 3, and Rice had 2. At the center position, Mutombo had 8 points (4-7 FGs) and 4 rebounds in 8 minutes, Wilson had no points and three blocks in 8 minutes, Billingsley had 3 fouls (and 2 TOs) in 3 minutes, and Holloway played 5 minutes and had a couple rebounds.
The second half started hot for the Hoyas and again featured at least one big block by Wilson (4 total) and two buckets. The Hoyas extended to 55-41 within 3 minutes. Ryan Mutombo found 7 rebounds (4 o-reb) in the second and scored 7 in 10 minutes. The score was not quite comfortable at 78-57 at the 11:00 mark but grew to 92-60 with 6:260 left, after Rice countered a Kennedy three with his own dagger, and it was all but over.
In the period, Kaiden Rice hit 6 of 7 threes and score 20 of his 34 in the second as Georgetown pulled away. While L.J. Owens shot 4-6 from three in the first, he was held to 1-2 in the second, only adding three points to his 14 in the first. Rogers tried to will some buckets but he was only 3-7 and UMBC shot only 31.4% (11-35) and 3-14 from three in the latter half.
Georgetown’s bench cleared out as Chuma Azinge (2 pts, 1-1) and Victor Muresan (0-2) got on the floor. Freshman Tyler Beard (0-2) didn’t score but had 6 assists and had zero turnovers in 15 minutes off the bench, while Jalin Billingsley never found his pace with 4 points, 4 fouls in 8 minutes of game time. Collin Holloway was 2-3 for 5 points and 5 rebounds in 20 minutes.
The Georgetown Hoyas got a much-needed win to get to .500 and looked very solid offensively, relying on transition pace and unselfish ball movement. Defensively, there was improvement for Patrick Ewing’s squad, especially in the second half, but Kaiden Rice’s timely threes really fueled the game and eventually broke the backs of the Retrievers.
There was plenty of talent and promise on display here tonight, and Rice’s record-breaking shooting needs to be acknowledged, but the Hoyas will look for consistency as the season progresses. For now, Hoyas fans can celebrate the win and hope to build momentum into this weekend’s game against the much-hated rival of yesteryear.