Georgetown bounces back, pounds Kansas State 90-63
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Georgetown coach John Thompson III said he didn’t recognize the out of control and at times selfish team that was humbled in an opening-round loss to Northeastern at the Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Thursday.
After a stern talking to, it didn’t take long for the Hoyas to reintroduce themselves.
D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera had 25 points to lead four Georgetown starters in double-figures as the Hoyas overwhelmed Kansas State in a 90-63 victory in the consolation bracket on Friday.
Jabril Trawick added 16 points for the Hoyas (2-2).
“Yesterday was horrible. Horrible,” Thompson said. “I want to make sure that I say that not to take anything away from Northeastern, but we were horrible. We were much better today.”
Thompson didn’t hold his tongue in critiquing his team’s dismal second-half performance against Northeastern. The preparation for Kansas State included all the usual film study, but a sort of heart-to-heart talk as well.
“If you’re asking me if we had a conversation — yes we did,” he said. “I thought our overall attention to detail was much better than yesterday. I thought our willingness to help each other on both ends of the court was better today...I think our mindset was much closer today to where it has to be.”
The Hoyas played much more fluidly in their offensive sets and limited their mistakes as they systematically took the Wildcats out of their game plan to get the ball inside. Georgetown led by as many as 29 and shot 63 percent from the field for the game with 19 assists.
Kansas State (2-3) fell in a 10-0 hole early and never could string together a meaningful run. Thomas Gipson led the Wildcats with 18 points. In his third game back after from injury Gipson got more involved, but again was stunted early because of foul trouble.
In the pregame huddle Wildcats coach Bruce Weber also challenged his team, asking them to let their play show him the kind of team they were.
He said they couldn’t match Georgetown’s energy, though.
“We caught them after a very tough loss and for them and their program I’m sure they were a little extra motivated and they definitely played as well as they could,” Weber said. “We did compete and fight back to get it to 16 and 12 (points) and boom, they get it right back up.
“We’ve got to play better.”
But with the exception of Gipson, he acknowledged that leadership and aggressiveness is still lacking on the floor.
Unlike the majority of teams in the tournament that will use Saturday’s day off to tour San Juan, Weber said they planned to use the day to prep for their final game of the tournament on Sunday.
“I think determination, understanding who we are — all those things are important,” he said. “We actually played better offensively and only got 63...But at the same time we gotta play a little smarter.”
Georgetown was the much livelier team out of the opening tip and led by 17 at the half.
K-State picked things up in the final 20 minutes, but its efforts were too late as the Georgetown pushed its lead above 20 with just under 12 minutes to play.
Coming off a lackluster shooting performance down the stretch in the Northeastern loss, the Hoyas moved better in the first half Friday against the Wildcats.
The Hoyas pushed the pace early, forcing 10 K-State turnovers in the opening 20 minutes. Georgetown also spread the ball around in the half court, shooting 63 percent and racking up 11 assists on its 17 field goals.
The Wildcats connected on just 8 of 24 attempts from the field in the half and had only two assists.
Smith-Rivera said the challenge was necessary and is something he and his teammates plan to keep with them the rest of the season.
But he said losses like the one to Northeastern also “can’t be what motivate us to win games.”
“I think it was pretty much taking that loss — it kind of settled in with us,” he said. “Basically what we wanted to do was suck it up and come up with a win.”
Follow Kyle Hightower on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/khightower