Georgetown tops Providence 83-71, 4th straight win

WASHINGTON (AP) D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera scored 22 points, including his first successful 3-point attempts in more than two weeks, and Georgetown overcame a scoring spree from Bryce Cotton on Monday night to pull away for an 83-71 win over Providence.

Smith-Rivera had missed 17 consecutive 3-pointers entering the game, but he went 2 for 4 from long range against the Friars, including a crucial 3 that gave the Hoyas a 65-59 lead with 3:52 to play.

Markel Starks added 14 points for the Hoyas (15-9, 6-6 Big East), who have won four straight to complete a climb back to .500 in the conference. Georgetown shot 47 percent and committed only five turnovers.

Cotton scored 31 points to lead the Friars (16-9, 6-6), who have lost three in a row. Cotton scored 19 of his team’s final 21 points of the first half after the Friars had fallen behind by 12, but he had trouble finding open looks after halftime.

Cotton, Kadeem Batts (14 points) and Tyler Harris (13) accounted for 58 of Providence’s 71 points. Cotton finished 8 for 14 from the field, including 5 for 6 from 3-point range. He had a man on him far from the basket and was occasionally drawing double teams beyond the 3-point arc in the second half, but the Friars often couldn’t convert when he found an open man with a pass.

Leading by one with 5:25 to play, Georgetown took control with an 8-2 run that including Smith-Rivera’s 3-pointer and another 3 by Jabril Trawick.

The Friars were trailing 27-15 in the first half when Cotton took off.

He scored the next nine points with a pair of 3-pointers sandwiched around three free throws from getting fouled while taking a 3. He put an incredible amount of spin on a layup that gave the Friars their first lead, 30-29, and ended the first half with a buzzer-beater deserving of figure skating style points for the way he had to contort his body just to get off the shot.

While Cotton was scoring those 19 points, Georgetown was managing just five – all on free throws. The Hoyas’ last field goal of the half came on Smith-Rivera’s jumper with seven minutes remaining, and they trailed 36-32 at the break.

Cotton cooled down in the second half, and Georgetown regained the lead on two free throws from Smith-Rivera that made the score 45-43 with 13:54 to play.

Cotton created space for himself to hit a 3-pointer that put Providence back in front, and his two free throws gave the Friars a 54-47 lead, but the Hoyas responded with a 9-0 run and kept Cotton quiet the rest of the way.

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