Instant analysis: Hoyas dominate FIU behind 24-0 run

Instant analysis: Hoyas dominate FIU behind 24-0 run
December 28, 2013, 2:30 pm
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Recap: That's more like it. Georgetown shined in all phases against Florida International, with defensive pressure and near perfect shot making sparking a 24-0 first-half run as the Hoyas cruised to a 92-57 win on Saturday afternoon.

Markel Starks, Nate Lubick and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera each scored 15 points for the Hoyas (9-3), who led 50-14 at halftime, shot 60.7 percent from the field and scored 58 points in the paint.

Turning point: Based on the Hoyas energy and execution from the start, the "turning point" probably occurred sometime during practice this week or at least after last Saturday's decisive 86-64 loss at No. 18 Kansas. Georgetown's traps caused FIU issues simply crossing half court or getting into designed sets as the Panthers committed seven turnovers in the opening six minutes. 

Key stat: The Hoyas held FIU without a field goal or point for over 10 minutes in the first half. Following Jerome Frink's 3-point play with 17:15 remaining, the Panthers missed 12 straight shots until Frink's layup with 7:05 left before halftime. The Hoyas made 12 of their first 15 attempts from the field, turning a 6-4 lead into a 30-4 advantage.

They said it: "I think we came out extremely focused. This is one of the few games you go into halftime and [there is] not too many negative things you can say. I thought we played a very good first half at both ends of the court. I thought we did a good job in the first half on the boards. So much of their offense is generating by their offensive rebounding and I think initially we took that away." -- Georgetown coach John Thompson III

Late change: Georgetown's starting lineup did not include Smith-Rivera for the first time this season. The Hoyas' leading scorer returned late to practice following the Christmas holiday, Thompson said. The sophomore guard entered with 13:25 remaining in the first half and played 25 minutes, finishing with a team-high six assists while making eight of nine free throws. Aaron Bowen replaced Smith-Rivera in the starting lineup and scored five points.

Tactical change: Typically, the Hoyas use variations of a three-quarter court pressure defense, but only for the opening minutes. This game, Thompson kept the assertive scheme going. FIU committed 13 turnovers in the first half. Georgetown scored 26 points on the Panthers' 18 turnovers.

FIU: Dennis Mavin scored 16 points for the Panthers, who had their own lineup tweaks. Usual starters Tymell Murphy, Rakeem Buckles and Jason Boswell were not on the court for the opening tip due to disciplinary reasons. 

They said it: "I don't think we were into it mentally. Some guys who normally start didn't start so the flow was a little bit different, but Georgetown is a good basketball team. They came and executed, put pressure on us, got turnovers and jumped out." -- FIU coach and former Norfolk State coach Anthony Evans

Rebounding on rebounding: Georgetown lost the battle on the boards in each of its last two games. FIU entered the matchup ranked 23rd nationally in offensive rebounding. Therefore Thompson made glass work a top priority during recent practices. The Hoyas finished with a 33-22 rebounding advantage and had 15 second-chance points compared to 10 for FIU.

Protect the house: The Hoyas improved to 6-0 at home this season and have won 49 straight non-conference games at the Verizon Center.

Starting five: The Hoyas starters shot 12 of 15 in the first half and made 22 of 31 attempts overall. Lubick and Jabril Trawick each made all three of their field goal attempts with the senior power forward making 7 of 9 overall.

Balance: Trawick, Joshua Smith and Reggie Cameron each scored eight points with Mikael Hopkins adding seven while matching Lubick with six rebounds. Of the 13 players to see court time, only John Caprio did not score. Walk-on David Allen made a 3-pointer in the final minutes.

They said it: "We came out much stronger, not just offensively, but defensively as well. After Kansas, we had a talk and our mindset really changed after that. The past is the past and moving forward we have to become a better defensive team." -- Starks, who led the Hoyas with nine points in the first half.

All time: Georgetown improved to 4-0 in the series

Legacy: Walk-on Riyan Williams, son of former Georgetown great Reggie Williams, sat on the bench in uniform for the first time.

On deck: The Hoyas open conference play on New Year's Eve at 5:00 p.m. against DePaul at the Verizon Center.