The No. 5 Xavier Musketeers doubled their season-loss total Tuesday night, dropping an 81-72 decision to the unranked Georgetown Hoyas, who celebrated the victory on Twitter just seconds after the final horn:
Xavier trailed by six at the half and only once trimmed the deficit to fewer than five during the second half. Sophomore guard Tre Campbell led the way for the Hoyas with a career-high 21 points, while senior D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera had 20 points and seven assists.
To say Campbell had his best game this season is an understatement, per Bobby Bancroft of the Hoyas' official athletics website:
At 12-7, the Hoyas may have a hard time receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament, but if they do, this win at Xavier could be the reason, as Matt Norlander of CBSSports.com suggested:
Georgetown head coach John Thompson III was happy with the win and said his team, now 5-2 in the Big East and a half-game ahead of Xavier, plays in one of the tougher conferences in the country, per BIG EAST MBB:
The Musketeers led most of the first half, stretching their lead to 27-20 at the six-minute, 16-second mark on two free throws from Edmond Sumner. After an 8-0 run by Georgetown, Xavier retook took the lead on this fast-break dunk by Sean O'Mara, per FS1:
A Campbell three-pointer on the next Georgetown possession made the game 31-29, and Xavier never reclaimed the lead. Smith-Rivera, a senior who decommitted from Xavier to play at Georgetown, paced the Hoyas with 13 points in the second half to help seal the victory. The fans obviously have not forgiven him for the snub, per Jeff Wallner of the Cincinnati Enquirer:
Trevon Bluiett led three Musketeers in double-figure scoring with 18 points and 10 rebounds. While a home loss is never good, they still stand at 4-2 in conference play and 16-2 overall. The loss won't cost them an NCAA tournament bid, but it certainly could hurt their seeding.
Even so, Seth Davis of CBSSports.com seemed floored by the outcome:
The Hoyas have now won three of four games as they head into a four-game stretch that includes road contests against the Connecticut Huskies and the No. 18 Butler Bulldogs. Meanwhile, Xavier will look to bounce back Saturday against a surprising Seton Hall team that stands at 13-4.
Campbell talked after the game with Bill Raftery about shooting over the 1-3-1 zone, and how Georgetown “wanted it” after losing to Xavier three times last season, per FS1:
Smith-Rivera was happy to finally get a win at Xavier, per the Associated Press (via ESPN.com).
"It's really big," the senior guard said. "It's the first time we've won here and my last time playing here."
Thompson echoed Smith-Rivera's words, per the AP. "I told these guys before the game: `We've been close but here's another opportunity," he said. "To come in here and win against this team—they're playing at such a high level now—feels good. We're now over a hump and we'll proceed from here."
Xavier's Myles Davis, who had 15 points in the game, said the Hoyas basically outplayed the Musketeers, according to the AP.
"Honestly it was Georgetown being locked in and ready to play," Davis said. "They knew that last year in the games we played them we out-rebounded them and were tougher."