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December 18, 2013

Hoyas outlast Elon

December 18, 2013 - Down 40-39 at intermission, Georgetown's recent script of first half struggling against smaller conference foes was again afoot. A palpable uneasiness existed amongst many of Verizon Center's crowd of 7,586; Would the Hoyas pull away from Elon?

They did, eventually earning an 85-76 win last night. How did G'Town (7-2) do it?

First, head coach John Thompson III's team got the ball inside, as junior Joshua Smith, senior Nate Lubick and junior Jabril Trawick all scored layups to start the second stanza.

Smith, who finished with 18 points, also was fouled twice, the last producing not only two free throws but the third foul on Elon senior frontcourt stalwart Lucas Troutman.

A trio of consecutive three pointers by senior Markel Starks were followed by Smith's successful and-one, producing a 59-51 Hoya lead with 13:11 to play. Though Elon, always competitive would get to within four, the Hoyas' held on, garnering the victory.

"That' s a very good team" said Thompson afterward, who also revealed when scheduling Elon (5-6) "I had a couple of my assistants...say 'Coach, do you really want to do that?' Just because we knew it was going to be a game like this.

"That's a veteran team, tough team, a well coached team, that's going to play until the end...They shoot the ball so well. they share the game so well. We knew we would have to play well, to have a chance to win it".

The Hoyas and game were led in scoring by Starks' 21 points (he added four assists), while sophomore D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera trailed him slightly with 19. Smith-Rivera also pulled down seven rebounds, a team high tying him with two Phoenix players for pacing the contest.

Rounding out G'Town double figure scoring guys were Smith (18 points) and senior Nate Lubick, the latter with 10 points and six rebounds.

Elon, to Thompson's chagrin, made eight, first half three point field goals. Smith relayed the halftime message conveyed as "We had to play defense. They had 40 points in the first half, that's a lot...that's unacceptable. We had to chase them off the three point line and make them score two's".

Also troubling the coach, now in his 10th year leading Georgetown was in the first half surrendering "a few long rebounds that we have to come up with". For the contest, the Hoyas trailed Elon 31-30 cleaning glass.

"It's a lot we can take away from that" summed Thompson. "I'm glad at the end of the day we had more points than them".

The Phoenix shot 57.7% in the first half, 42.9% during the second. The 50% overall result was good, but not good enough, particularly considering an equal foul shot percentage.

"When we play Georgetown, our margin for error is ever so slight" said Elon's head coach, Matt Methany. "Free throw percentage...a couple of untimely turnovers, are not good for us".

Troutman and sophomore Tanner Samson both had 18 points and seven rebounds for Matheny's bunch. Sebastian Koch, a senior, accounted for 15 points, four rebounds, while junior and DMV native Austin Hamilton logged nine points, four rebounds and a game high six helpers.

G'Town, which finished shooting at 53.8% (65.2% in the second half) and 54.5% from three ball land, travels to Kansas for a nationally televised game Saturday, at noon. For tickets, click here.

Elon, of which Methany noted "our performance tonight was a sign of marked improvement", welcomes Central Penn to Northern North Carolina Thursday, a 7p start.

To discuss the game or enjoy Thompson discussing the win and rebounding, see our Premium Court message board. If you are not a HoyaReport.com member, the offer below can rectify that, and keep you draped in Hoya (or other) gear!

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