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January 15, 2014

Blown lead equals defeat

January 15, 2014 - Up by as much as 17 in the second half, Georgetown's Hoyas looked to be in control of their game at Xavier this evening. That fuzzy feeling of confidence eroded in the Hoya Nation quickly, as G'Town was outscored 51-25 in the second stanza, 16-zip over the last 6:44 closing the game, leading to a 80-67 Musketeer win.

The Hoyas lead started to slip away after the second half's first TV timeout: Behind 53-36, Xavier got an and-one by sophomore guard Semaj Christon, after G'Town's senior forward Nate Lubick's foul on an inbounds play. Xavier immediately started pressing full court, much of the pressure being applied by a diamond formation, resulting in a steal and resulting and-one by senior forward Isaiah Philmore.

The Muskateers continued their frenzied assault, bolstered by a now energized Cintas Center crowd, later forcing another Hoya turnover, this time in the half court by senior point guard Markel Starks. Xavier's sophomore forward James Farr soon responded by dropping a long ball.

A minute and a half after Christon's heady play, sophomore guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera hit a jumpshot, but a Muskie avalanche had started, with Smith-Rivera hitting two shots, Lubick dunking and senior wing Aaron Bowen canning a jumper standing as the Hoyas' only field goals the rest of the way.

Starks led the game with 19 points, seven in the second half, while Smith-Rivera logged 18 points, six during the same period. Freshman forward Reggie Cameron dropped 13 points, though only a single three pointer was in the second stanza, illustrating a problem for the Hoyas; the only G'Town player outside of Smith-Rivera, Starks and Cameron to score in the second half was Bowen (nine points total), who tickled the twine only once.

Christon paced Xavier with 18 points, while junior guard Dee Davis followed closely with 17 points and seven dimes, the latter tying him with Starks for the game's assist lead. Philmore finished at 14 points and five rebounds.

Xavier bested G'Town 36-25 on the boards, paced by junior center Matt Stainbrook's eight rebounds. Junior forward Justin Martin followed closely with seven rebounds, also contributing 10 points.

Carom-wise, Georgetown had a trio with four - Cameron, Bowen, and junior forward Mikael Hopkins. In the second half, the Hoyas seemed a step slow, leading to speculation regarding fatigue. To discuss the game, see out in-game, real time chat thread on Premium Court.

The Hoyas, now with an 11-5 total record and 3-2 BIG EAST mark welcome Seton Hall this Saturday, for a Verizon Center contest tipping at noon. They are now not only a game behind Xavier (14-4, 4-1) in league standings, but the Musketeers have an early tie breaker over them.

Xavier is off until Monday the 20th, when they travel to DePaul for a 4:00p start.


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