Reynolds helps Xavier beat No. 25 Georgetown 70-53
CINCINNATI (AP) — When Jalen Reynolds avoids foul trouble and stays on the court, Xavier likes its chances.
Reynolds matched a career high with 17 points, and the Musketeers beat No. 25 Georgetown 70-53 on Wednesday night in the Big East opener for both schools.
“He is starting to play well,” coach Chris Mack said. “He’s as talented as any power forward in our conference. It isn’t a question of how well he plays. It is how much he plays. Jalen has hamstrung himself with foul trouble at times.”
Remy Abell and Dee Davis had 12 points apiece for the Musketeers (10-3, 1-0), who held the Hoyas to 36 percent shooting and forced 16 turnovers. James Farr added nine points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots.
Reynolds helped Xavier grab control with a three-point play with 6:58 left. The sophomore was whistled for a technical foul on the play, but he helped the Musketeers finish the game strong.
“Everyone knows that I’m an emotional player. I flexed on that one,” Reynolds said. “We played hard. It is a blessing to do what I do on the court.”
D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored 18 points for the Hoyas (8-4, 0-1), who had won three in a row and four of five. Josh Smith had 10 points but Xavier held the Hoyas to their lowest point total of the season.
“Xavier did a good job,” Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. “They didn’t do any one thing in particular. Nothing was easy for us today.”
Smith made a jumper with about 14 minutes left to get Georgetown within two, but Xavier responded with a 10-2 run. Trevon Bluiett capped the surge with two free throws that made it 49-39 with 9:13 remaining.
Smith-Rivera came into the game fifth in the conference in scoring.
“Remy Abell did an outstanding job against DSR,” Mack said.
Abell takes pride in his defense.
“Defense will help us win games,” Abell said. “Offense will take care of itself.”
Davis had a layup and two foul shots to extend the lead to 65-50 with 2:45 to go.
Xavier led 31-25 at the break.
Xavier: Mack ran his total to 121 career wins, breaking a tie for second on the school’s list with current Arizona coach Sean Miller.
Georgetown: The Hoyas blocked 10 shots and held the Musketeers 11 points below their season average.
Georgetown hosts Creighton on Saturday.
Xavier visits DePaul on Saturday.
Bluiett started the game with a 13.3 scoring average, good for ninth in the conference, but he was 0 for 6 from the field. His only points came from four free throws.
“He was sick as a dog,” Mack said. “Out of eight practices he missed five of them.”
Smith-Rivera was booed all game long. Smith-Rivera was heavily recruited by Xavier out of high school but chose to attend Georgetown instead. Smith-Rivera is from Indianapolis, a two-hour drive from the Cintas Center.