Hoyas Start off NIT Strong Defeat West Virginia, 77-65

Washington ,D.C—

Well it wasn’t exactly what the Hoyas had hoped for when it came to postseason tournament play, but a chance to play a former conference rival in West Virginia during the first round of the NIT Tournament was better than nothing at all. They showed that they were a lot better to the finish tonight as they knocked of the Mountaineers, 77-65.

While the Hoyas struggled early they used a 32 point effort by D’Vauntes Smith Rivera and 14 points from Senior lead Markel Starks.

“These two guys are going to sleep well tonight,” Coach John Thompson III said of Smith-Rivera and Starks, who also had career-high seven rebounds.

With the victory tonight, Georgetown (18-14, 8-10) snapped a five-game losing streak to Bob Huggins’s Mountaineers and earned a second-round NIT date with No. 1 seed Florida State, a 58-53 victor over eight-seeded Florida Gulf Coast. The game time and date will be announced tomorrow.

“It was unbelievable, the energy that we got from the fans,” coach John Thompson III said. “The students, the young alums, the old alums. It was a great environment. … I wish we could have that environment at the Verizon Center.”

The Hoyas shot 37 percent in the first half and 52 percent in the second. Smith-Rivera made a layup and a 3-pointer in an 8-0 run that gave Georgetown the lead for good early in the second half, and Nate Lubick’s dunk with 6:18 to play gave Georgetown the first double-digit lead of the game.

“I think we had some guys who certainly could have played a lot harder,” West Virginia Head Coach Bob Huggins said.

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