Preseason BIG EAST Player of the Year D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored 12 points during a game-ending 15-4 run as Georgetown defeated Creighton, 60-55, on Thursday night in the quarterfinal round of the BIG EAST Tournament.
Second-seeded and 23rd-ranked Georgetown (21-9) advances to Friday’s semifinal and will meet the winner of the Butler/Xavier nightcap. Creighton fell to 14-19 with the loss.
Georgetown took a 31-25 lead into the half, making its final three shots and closing the first half on a 10-2 run. Smith-Rivera led Georgetown with eight points in the first half, while James Milliken made all four of his shot attempts and led all scorers with 11 points in the first half.
Georgetown would hold on to a narrow lead for the first 11 minutes of the second half before Creighton finally pulled ahead on an Austin Chatman three-pointer with 8:46 left. That was part of a 9-0 run that saw the Bluejays take their largest lead at 51-45 5:49 remaining.
Georgetown rallied with a 9-2 for a 54-53 lead 2:01 to play. GU made it a three-point game on a double-clutch Smith-Rivera bank shot with a minute to play. After a CU turnover, the Bluejays were forced to foul and Smith-Rivera sank two foul shots with 18.0 left to make it 58-53.
Chatman got a tip-in with 3.9 ticks left to get within three, but Smith-Rivera was fouled with 3.2 seconds left and sank both for the final margin.
Smith-Rivera led Georgetown with 25 points Georgetown also had 11 steals while forcing 18 Bluejay turnovers. Milliken paced the Bluejays with 17 points while making his first six shots, while Chatman recorded 11 points in his 104th consecutive start.