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November 14, 2013

Hoyas rebound, literally and figuratively

November 14, 2013 - After Georgetown's disheartening loss to Oregon in Korea last week, everyone in the program knew what brought defeat, the culprits being a lack of rebounding, faulty long distance shooting and seemingly failing overall effort. Last night during their home opener at Verizon Center, the Hoyas addressed the concerns, defeating Wright State handily 88-70 before 7,350 patrons.

In terms of caroms, the Hoyas snagged nine more boards (40-31) , though at halftime they owned a one rebound advantage. Ten of a possible 13 Hoyas grabbed at least two rebounds, indicated the team has responded to Head Coach John Thompson III's edict that increased glass cleaning be provided by the entire team.

Shooting from beyond the arc was vastly improved, with G'Town managing a 10-22 (45-5%) mark. This, given an enemic 22.2% second half clip, when the game was pretty much settled. Georgetown, from the field, managed to shoot 50% in total.

According to Wright State's coach, Billy Donion, his team "wanted the right guys to take shots", meaning "(Markel) Starks and ( D'Vauntes Smith-)Rivera can't get threes". That tandem went six of thirteen from beyond the arch, the former scoring 23 points, Rivera 25.

"It was what we expected to tell you the truth" said Thompson of his starting backcourt's shooting display. "I think the last game, is not who we are, who they are. So for them to come out here and do what they did today, is kind of what we expect".

From the outset, Georgetown displayed energy and pep, racing to 30-11 lead with just over nine minutes expended in the first half. A three pointer by Markel Starks pushed their bulge to 23 around four minutes later. Wright State would never get closer than 15.

"I knew Georgetown would play with a great sense of urgency losing a game to start their season, and seniors are usually the ones who try and come out and take over. He did that" said Donion of Starks's overall game. In addition to his points, Starks, the Hoyas' captain, notched six assists, two steals and one turnover in a game high 35 minutes.

Part and parcel to the Hoyas' energy was defense - Wright State finished 38.6% from the field, 30.% on three pointers. Donion lamented the 11 first half turnovers his team committed, saying "If you had seven first half turnovers, and you score on two or three of those possessions you get shots on, you go in 50 to 39, or 38 (instead of down 19). And it just has a little different feel to the game".

Thompson deferred judgment on his team's defensive progress, saying "We still have a ways to go". Ever the coach, he also noted imminent tape study would better inform his opinion.

The Raiders saw three players reach double figure scoring; Kendall Griffin, J.T. Yoho and Miles Dixon, with 15, 14 and 14 points, respectively.

Hoya Nate Lubick led all rebounders, snatching eight. Teammate Mikael Hopkins tied with Wright State's Matt Vest, each tallying seven boards.

The Raiders, now 1-1, head to DePaul November 16th. G'Town next plays in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off, January 21st. Their first foe on that sunny island is Northeastern, a 1p EST tip off.

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