WASHINGTON -- D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored 20 of his 31 points in the first half, and the 100th meeting between Georgetown and St. John's quickly became a noncompetitive milestone Saturday as the Hoyas cruised to a 77-60 victory.
Smith-Rivera went 9 for 12 from the field and 6 for 7 from 3-point range, doing his best to evoke the memories of the standout performances from years past from the founding members of the both the old and new Big East. Long gone, of course, are superstars Patrick Ewing and Chris Mullin and legendary coaches John Thompson Jr. and Lou Carnesecca, as well as any thought that the Hoyas and Red Storm are on equal footing.
Georgetown (10-3, 2-0) led 42-16 at the half. The Hoyas have won six in a row in the series and haven't lost at home to St. John's since Jan. 18, 2003. They trail the overall head-to-head 53-47, but they're on pace to soon take the lead in a rivalry that began in the 1909-10 season.
Max Hooper scored 13 points to lead the Red Storm (9-5, 0-2), while D'Angelo Harrison shot 1 for 12 from the field and had three turnovers. Coach Steve Lavin's starting five included three players who had combined for only one start this season: Walk-on Khadim Ndiaye, who had played only six minutes this season; Felix Balamou, who had played only 18 minutes with one start; and Sir'Dominic Pointer, who had been a regular contributor off the bench. Usual starters JaKarr Sampson and Phil Greene IV entered the game during the first half.
Smith-Rivera scored the game's first basket with a 3-pointer and soon added two more 3s and a pair of free throws to push the score to 13-4. He drove the lane and drew contact to set up a three-point play that put the Hoyas ahead 23-6. He rescued a bad possession with a 3-pointer from the top of the key that barely beat the shot clock and made the score 29-10. His six 3-pointers were one short of the school record.
None of Lavin's substitutions or timeouts could stem the tide: The Red Storm had no offensive punch, and the Hoyas ran their offense with clinical effectiveness, with 14 assists on their 15 first-half field goals. Georgetown shot 62 percent in the first half and held the Red Storm to 21 percent.
The only suspense in the second half was whether the Hoyas could surpass their largest margin of victory in the series. Their biggest lead was 33, but the Red Storm had a run in garbage time to make the score more respectable, and Georgetown fell plenty short of its 36-point, 51-15 victory in the 1920-21 season.
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