Georgetown survives against No. 10 VCU 84-80

Georgetown survives against No. 10 VCU 84-80
November 24, 2013, 6:15 pm
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VCU guard Briante Weber, left, pressures Georgetown guard Markel Starks during an NCAA college basketball game in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013.

(AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) -- D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera had 26 points and Georgetown fought off Virginia Commonwealth in the second half to hang on for an 84-80 victory in the fifth-place game of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off on Sunday.

Markel Starks added 23 points, and went 10 for 10 at the free-throw line to help preserve the win. Joshua Smith chipped in 17.

There were 61 fouls called in the game, which lasted nearly three hours

The Rams outran the Hoyas in their previous meeting in the 2011when they blew out the Hoyas in the second round of the NCAA tournament on their way to the Final Four.

It was close throughout this time around. VCU (4-2) forced 26 turnovers, but couldn't get baskets to fall down the stretch, shooting 35 percent for the game. Georgetown (3-2) shot 56 percent, and was 6 for 11 from the 3-point line.

Briante Weber had 22 points to lead VCU, which shot 47 free throws. Treveon Graham added 17 points.

Despite some first-half turnovers, Georgetown had handled VCU's pressure well Sunday until back-to-back takeaways and scores bookended an 8-0 spurt that nudged the Rams out to a 48-41 lead with 14 minutes to play.

Georgetown came back, and took a 67-60 lead with 4:20 remaining on a pair of free throws by Starks.

The Hoyas lost some of their quickness when Jabril Trawick went to the bench with his fifth foul on the next trip down the floor. But they kept attacking inside and got a layup from Nate Lubick that made it 69-63.

VCU got within 81-78 on a layup by Weber Graham with 14.1 seconds to play, and again at 83-80 with 1.8 left, but the Hoyas were able to close it out at the line.

In fast-paced opening 20 minutes that featured five lead changes VCU took a one-point lead into the locker room at halftime, thanks to a lopsided advantage at the free throw line.

The Rams went 14 for 19 from the foul line. The Hoyas got there just three times, going 2 for 3.

Georgetown controlled the pace early, sprinting out to an 8-0 advantage, but it didn't last.

VCU began to get some turnovers off its pressure, forcing 14 for the half that led to 15 points on the offensive end.

The Rams took their largest lead of the half at 26-20.