WVU's season ends in NIT loss at Georgetown
WASHINGTON — D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera had a season-high 32 points and 10 rebounds, and Georgetown topped West Virginia, 77-65, on Tuesday night in a cozy matchup of former conference rivals in the first round of the NIT.
Markel Starks added 14 points, and Jabril Trawick scored 12 for the Hoyas (18-14), who pulled away in the second half in the cramped confines of Georgetown's 2,500-seat practice gym. The game was played on campus because the circus is in town, occupying the Hoyas' usual home court, Verizon Center.
Juwan Staten scored 23 points to lead the Mountaineers (17-16), who had a five-game winning streak over the Hoyas come to an end. The schools hadn't met since West Virginia left the Big East to join the Big 12 in 2012.
The Hoyas will visit Florida State in the second round. The Seminoles beat Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday.
The Hoyas shot 37 percent in the first half and 52 percent in the second, with Smith-Rivera overcoming his early struggles to go 7 for 10 from the field after the break. The sophomore guard made a layup and a 3-pointer in an 8-0 run that gave Georgetown the lead for good, and that was soon followed by a 7-2 Hoyas spurt that included a sequence in which Trawick blocked Eron Harris' 3-point attempt, then ran downcourt to catch Starks' pass to complete a fast-break layup.
Nate Lubick's dunk with 6:18 to play gave Georgetown the first double-digit lead of the game, and Smith-Rivera followed with another 3-pointer and Starks with a pair of free throws to make the score 66-51.
The Mountaineers were ahead 33-30 after a first half in which neither team led by more than five. Staten (6 for 7) and Remi Dibo (4 for 9) accounted for 10 of West Virginia's field goals in the half, while Georgetown's backcourt of Starks (2 for 9) and Smith-Rivera (2 for 7) both started cold.