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Smith-Rivera’s 33 points lead Hoyas over St. John’s 93-73

NEW YORK (AP) Georgetown coach John Thompson III has come to expect good things from D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera, his senior leader.

Smith-Rivera matched his career high with 33 points as the Hoyas beat St. John’s 93-73 on Wednesday night, handing the Red Storm a school-record eighth straight loss.

”He’s been doing that for four years and, just as important, he also been throwing a lot of good passes,” Thompson said of Smith-Rivera, who leads the Hoyas in scoring and assists. ”I think he understands where everyone is and where he is and he can score. At the end of the day, one thing this kid can do is put the ball in the basket. He’s a scorer.”

Smith-Rivera finished 11 of 16 from the field, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range. It was the highest point total this season for any player in the Big East.

”My teammates did a great job of finding me when I was open,” he said. ”I usually distribute more, but today was about being in the right spot at the right time.”

Reggie Cameron added a career-high 15 points for the Hoyas (11-6, 4-1 Big East), who won for the fifth time in six games and posted their season-high point total.

The Hoyas shot 51.7 percent (15 of 29) from the field in taking a 45-28 halftime lead. The Red Storm could never get any kind of shooting going, hitting 28.6 percent in the first half (8 of 28). With Smith-Rivera scoring eight straight in one run, the Hoyas led by as many as 27 in a foul-plagued second half.

”I don’t know if it was a fast start,” Thompson said, ”We just slowly pulled away in the first half. It wasn’t boom and we had a big lead. In the first half, our guys really helped each other defensively.”

Ron Mvouika had 15 points – all in the second half – for the Red Storm (7-11, 0-5), who are on the worst losing streak in the basketball program’s 109-year history.

”It hurts,” Mvouika said. ”It feels like the world is on your shoulders. But we’ll figure things out and at some point we’ll break through.”

Durand Johnson was blunt in his assessment of the start.

”They came out and played hard and we came out and were sleepwalking,” the guard said. ”They made shots and got confident like good teams do. I don’t think it’s on purpose. It just happens. I don’t know the reason and don’t have an explanation. That’s what I saw.”

St. John’s first-year coach Chris Mullin agreed that the start was a ”step slow. We were lethargic.”

”But that doesn’t take away from the good performances and the improvement they have made,” he added. ”The way we’ve been playing, we’ll win some games and the only way we won’t is if they get down from a game like this.”

OLD TIMES: Mullin had some great battles against Georgetown when he played for the then-Redmen. He played 12 games against the Hoyas from 1981-85, averaging 19.3 points and scoring more than 25 points five times. He shot 54.0 percent from the field (there was no 3-point line then) and 87.0 percent from the free-throw line. His high game against Georgetown was 35 points on 13-of-18 shooting at the Cap Centre on Feb. 21, 1984. … The attendance of 7,837 was the lowest for a Georgetown-St. John’s game since 2007.

ALL IN THE FAMILY: It’s obvious that John Thompson III is the son of Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame coach John Thompson Jr., the man who made the Hoyas a national power. Patrick Ewing Jr., the son of former Hoyas star and Naismith Memorial Hall of Famer Patrick Ewing, is in charge of basketball operations. There are two sons of former Hoyas on the roster: Ryan Williams is the son of All-America Reggie Williams and Trey Mourning is the son of All-America Alonzo Mourning.

TIP-INS:

Georgetown: Smith-Rivera entered as the Hoyas’ leading scorer (15.3) and leader in assists (4.5). … The Hoyas entered second in the Big East in free-throw shooting at 74.5 percent and they went 27 of 33 from the line Wednesday.

St. John’s: This was the Red Storm’s second game without 6-foot-11 Yankuba Sima, the leading shot blocker in the Big East at 3.1 per game. He broke his left hand and is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks. … St. John’s came in leading the all-time series 55-48 and the Red Storm had won two of the last three. … The other seasons St. John’s lost seven straight were 1918-19 and 2003-04. … The Red Storm entered 2-0 at Madison Square Garden this season.

UP NEXT:

Georgetown is at No. 6 Villanova on Saturday.

St. John’s is at No. 23 Butler on Saturday.

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