FILE PHOTO: JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA Senior forward Mikael Hopkins was nearly perfect from the free-throw line on Saturday afternoon, making 11-of-12 of his free throws. Hopkins has a 62  free-throw shooting percentage this season.
FILE PHOTO: JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA
Senior forward Mikael Hopkins was nearly perfect from the free-throw line on Saturday afternoon, making 11-of-12 of his free throws. Hopkins has a 62 free-throw shooting percentage this season.

With his team leading by one with a minute remaining in overtime and the shot clock winding down, junior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera scanned Marquette’s zone defense. His starting back-court mates, senior guard Jabril Trawick and freshman forward L.J. Peak, were both sidelined with injuries, but as the junior drove to his left, freshman guard Tre Campbell drifted into open space in the corner. Smith-Rivera made a pinpoint pass to Campbell, who drained a three-pointer that gave Georgetown’s men’s basketball team (14-5, 6-2 Big East) breathing room on their way to a 95-85 win in Milwaukee.

The Hoyas picked up their fourth-straight victory by beating the Golden Eagles. Georgetown soared to the top of the Big East standings and currently sits half a game ahead of Providence (15-5, 5-2 Big East).

Georgetown picked up its key win largely without the aid of two members of its starting lineup.

“Basically, we played the whole second half without L.J. and Jabril,” Head Coach John Thompson III said.

A beautiful display of offensive basketball exploded out of what was billed as a typically slow-paced and low-scoring Big East game. Six of the seven Georgetown players who scored finished in double figures, including 42 bench points from the trio comprised of senior forward Aaron Bowen, freshman forward Isaac Copeland and Campbell. Campbell especially took advantage of a rare opportunity for extended minutes as the Washington, D.C. native, who came into the game averaging 2.4 points in 11.3 minutes, finished with a career-high 14 points in 28 minutes.

“I thought he was effective,” Thompson said of Campbell. “Tre’s played a lot of tough situations coming up, and he stepped up when he was called upon. He’s confident, we’re confident in him — he played well.”

Smith-Rivera threatened to shoot Marquette out of the game in the first half as he drained five of his six three-point attempts before halftime. Marquette was able to keep pace, however, thanks to the outside shooting of senior guard Matt Carlino and freshman guard Duane Wilson, who each finished with a game-high 26 points on a combined 11-16 from beyond the arc.

Marquette’s defense adjusted nicely during intermission, so Smith-Rivera did not score in the second half. But, Georgetown’s depth was able to pick up the slack. In the final minute of the half, a runner by Copeland and a pair of free throws from senior center Joshua Smith could have given Georgetown a win in regulation. However, Carlino made an acrobatic jump shot with his foot on the three-point line, tying the game with less than a second remaining.

As Thompson was forced to shuffle his back-court lineups, Smith and senior forward Mikael Hopkins continued to provide consistency on the low block. Smith pulled down a career-high 15 rebounds in 31 minutes, and Marquette’s defense was forced to leave shooters open on the perimeter as they struggled to deal with the big man. Hopkins made up for his disappointing free-throw performance (0-of-6) in a road loss to Providence two weeks ago, sinking 11 of his 12 attempts from the charity stripe.

Although Thompson had to look to other players to carry the Hoyas out of Milwaukee with a victory, he was pleased with the resiliency and confidence that the other players on the team displayed when they were asked to perform.

“I won’t say [the team was] depleted because, as I’ve said all year, we showed up today and we have the depth and we have the personnel,” Thompson said. “If one or two or three people go down, someone’s capable to step up. And, if you’re confident enough to step up, your teammates have enough confidence in [you] to step up and perform.”

Georgetown will look to stay atop the Big East when it hosts Xavier (13-7, 4-4 Big East) on Tuesday. The Musketeers thrashed the Hoyas 70-53 on New Year’s Eve in what was by far their worst loss of the season.

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