GAME NOTES: The Georgetown Hoyas finally pulled out of a five-game tailspin with a huge victory over Michigan State, and will look to make it two in a row as they travel to face the DePaul Blue Demons in Big East Conference play at Allstate Arena.
The five consecutive losses for Georgetown were all in Big East play, and the win over Michigan State, 64-60, was a brief break in conference action for the Hoyas. Georgetown sits at 3-6 in conference play this season.
DePaul has lost four consecutive games entering its matchup with the Hoyas, and currently occupies the bottom spot in the Big East at 2-7 in the conference. The Blue Demons are coming off a 77-72 defeat at the hands of Providence.
Georgetown holds a significant lead over DePaul in the all-time series, 22-6. That includes a game played earlier this season in Washington D.C., which the Hoyas won, 61-54.
Michigan State and Georgetown battled to a pretty even first half in Saturday's non-conference tilt, as the Spartans took a one-point lead into the intermission. Georgetown battled back in the second half for the four-point win. Markel Starks paced the Hoyas with 16 points, while D'Vauntes Smith- Rivera netted 12 points with eight rebounds, and Mikael Hopkins chipped in 10. The Hoyas shot 44.9 percent from the floor in the win.
Smith-Rivera and Starks have proven to be the go-to players for Georgetown this season, as each player is netting over 16 ppg on average. Smith-Rivera leads the squad at 16.8 ppg on 44.1 percent shooting on the year, with a 4.8 rpg mark and 61 assists - good for second on the team. Starks, who is the only player ahead of Smith-Rivera in assists with 84, is right behind his teammate for the scoring lead at 16.4 ppg. The Hoyas are averaging 70.9 ppg this season.
Because of a suspension to leading scorer Cleveland Melvin and injuries to several other key players, DePaul was a bit shorthanded against Providence. But that allowed some seldom-used players to come out of the woodworks, like R.J. Curington, who scored a team-high 22 points with five rebounds. Tommy Hamilton chipped in 13 points and eight rebounds, while Brandon Young scored 12 with a team-high nine assists.
Young, who is second on the team in scoring to Melvin, is averaging 14.4 ppg on 44.3 percent shooting from the floor. Young tops the team in assists with 85 and in steals with 36 total on the year. Billy Garrett, who is third on the team in scoring with 11.9 ppg, is questionable to play with an illness. The Blue Demons are averaging 72.1 ppg this season, but are giving up 74.4 ppg to their opponents.
Georgetown finally got back in the win column against a tough Michigan State team with solid performances from its top players. If the Hoyas keep up that pace, which should be typical of them, they'll be able to climb back into Big East relevancy.
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