GAME NOTES: The Georgetown Hoyas continue a four-game homestand on Thursday evening, as they play host to the High Point Panthers at the Verizon Center.
John Thompson III's squad opened up the homestand this past weekend with a 70-49 rout of Lipscomb. The victory was the third straight for Georgetown, which now sits at 4-2 overall after losses in two of the first three games of the season. Georgetown has won 45 straight non-conference games at the Verizon Center dating back to 2006.
Scott Cherry is in his fifth season with the Panthers. High Point is an even 3-3 on the year and enters this contest after a 71-68 loss to Stephen F. Austin. The loss ended a brief two-game win streak for High Point.
This marks the first meeting on the hardwood for these two teams.
High Point's modest record thus far belies the team's overall success at the offensive end of the floor. The Panthers are averaging 74.8 ppg on the year and doing so on an impressive 51.3 percent shooting. The team also has produced on the boards, holding a +6.7 rebounding edge. Center stage in the High Point attack is sophomore forward John Brown, who is converting 63.6 percent from the floor and averaging team-highs in both scoring (21.7 ppg) and rebounding (9.8 rpg). Brown has had to shoulder more of the load for High Point with Allan Chaney (15.4 ppg, 8.6 rpg) being sidelined with a heart condition. Adam Weary (12.5 ppg) has served as a valuable asset for the team, primarily off the bench.
High Point was 47.2 percent from the floor against Stephen F. Austin , but was unable to get the win. Brown was once again a force up front, posting a double-double with 27 points and 13 rebounds. Weary added 15 points off the bench, but no one else stood up to add much offense in the loss.
Georgetown started slow against Lipscomb, but finished strong, rolling to a 21-point win at home. D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera recorded a strong all-around effort, finishing with 17 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Joshua Smith added 14 points, while Mikael Hopkins tacked on 13. Georgetown, which led by just one point at the half, opened up play after the break on a 13-0 run to distance itself from Lipscomb.
The Hoyas are a balanced team with explosive scoring ability and shutdown defensive skills. Georgetown comes into this game averaging 77.2 ppg on .489 shooting, while limiting foes to 67.8 ppg and well under 40 percent accuracy (.368). Smith-Rivera has performed at a high level to start the season. The junior guard is shooting the lights out at .522 overall and .531 behind the arc, leading to a team-high 18.7 ppg. Fellow guard Markel Starks is next in the scoring column (15.0 ppg) and serves as the team's top distributor (4.8 apg). Smith mans the middle and adds 14.0 ppg due to nearly 70 percent shooting efficiency (.698).
The Hoyas are a tough team to beat at home and will use their strong play at both ends of the court to keep the Panthers at arm's length in this one.
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