After leading in the first half 30-28, the Blue Demons shot just 30.8 percent in the second half, as Georgetown (who shot 44 percent in the second half) asserted itself in the paint to out-muscle DePaul (6-10, 0-4) for a 74-63 victory. It was almost a carbon copy of how it lost to Georgetown (10-6, 3-1) the first time these two teams played.
It was a game that slipped away in the latter stages of the second half. And with frustrations running high, DePaul coach Dave Leitao got “T'd” up twice, as he felt his team was not getting the calls he thought they deserved. As a result of the two technicals, Leitao was ejected from the game with 3:04 to go. Associate Head Coach Rick Carter would coach in Leitao's stead the rest of the way.
Afterward, a flustered Leitao gave a terse statement on the incident.
“That's just something for me and the coordinator of officials of the Big East have to talk about,” said Leitao. “That's not something I choose to talk about publicly.”
After a mostly nip and tuck second half, the Hoyas would know how to close the game late.
With the score at a manageable 55-50 with 5:43 to go in favor of Georgetown, the Hoyas would end the game on a 19-13 run, while making a killing at the charity stripe. A few technicals will do that.
After scoring just three points in the first half, Hoyas senior guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera would come up clutch in the second half— and mostly from the foul line. He scored 14 points (9-14 at the free throw line) in the second stanza to lead the Hoyas with 17 points. L.J. Peak also scored 17 points, while Jessie Govan added 12 points for the Hoyas.
Billy Garrett Jr. and Myke Henry led DePaul with 16 and 13 points, respectively. Freshman Eli Cain also added 11 points for the Demons.
For Leitao, it was another opportunity that slipped away.
“I thought we battled at certain points in time but they (Georgetown) were good enough and we weren’t good enough at important points of the game,” Leitao said after the game. “Throughout the course of the game they made more plays; it could have been a key rebound here and there, making free throws. (Those) are things that define games, define seasons and define good teams.”
While frustrated, Leitao will try to harness the positives from today and have the team move forward.
“It's obviously a little bit frustrating that we are on the back end of that (not closing out the game), but we just got to keep working to correct the things that we are not doing well.”
Game Notes from DePaul Sports Information: Billy Garrett Jr. became the 49th player in school history with 1,000 career points on a jumper to start the second half... he finished the game 1,011 career points and is ranked 48th all-time... Georgetown lead the series, 27-7... the Hoyas swept both games this season with a 70-58 decision on Dec. 30 at Allstate Arena.