FILE PHOTO: MICHELLE XU/THEHOYA Junior guard D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera played 42 of the game's 45 total minutes and scored a team-high 29 points.
FILE PHOTO: MICHELLE XU/THEHOYA
Junior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera played 42 of the game’s 45 total minutes and scored a team-high 29 points.

Following the performance of junior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera on Saturday afternoon, Indiana may have wished it could have kept Indianapolis native in-state.

Smith-Rivera scored 25 of his 29 points after halftime as Georgetown (8-3) erased a 10-point halftime lead and survived a late Indiana (10-3) rally for a 91-87 overtime victory at Madison Square Garden.

“I love opportunities like that. Of course this is personal — you know it’s back home,” Smith-Rivera said to the Washington Post. “My teammates just encouraged me to be more aggressive.”

Smith-Rivera came out firing in the second half, draining three straight three-pointers to spark a 15-3 Hoya run that gave Georgetown its first lead of the game, 56-54, with 8:45 remaining in the game.

Despite sitting out the beginning of the second half with three fouls, senior center Joshua Smith finished with 14 points as he helped Georgetown to a 54-26 advantage in points in the paint. Smith’s offensive presence in the low post proved to be particularly important for the Hoyas, as the Hoosiers scored 39 points on 13 made three-pointers.

Senior forward Aaron Bowen had by far his best game for the Blue and Gray as he poured in a career-high 22 points, helping Georgetown’s bench outscore Indiana’s 24-2.

“With me being more involved in the game I can get other guys involved as well,” Smith-Rivera said to ESPN. “Aaron Bowen had a career high tonight also so it’s really good for us. A lot of guys were in double figures tonight, and we had a great run.”

Junior guard Kevin Yogi Ferrell led the way for Indiana with 27 points. Ferrell scored key shots down the stretch, hitting two three-pointers in the final 40 seconds of regulation to force overtime.

Despite Ferrell’s and the Hoosiers’ offensive barrage at the end of the second half, the Hoyas’ Big Ten opponent went cold in the extra period, missing all five of its three-point attempts. Ferrell committed two turnovers and missed two three-pointers.

While Indiana struggled offensively, the Hoyas’ top scorers of the game scored crucial shots in the last five minutes of the game. Smith-Rivera scored seven of Georgetown’s 14 points and Bowen added three points.

Smith also helped Georgetown secure the win with contributions on both ends of the court. Smith’s inside presence kept Indiana’s guards from scoring when they drove into the lane and also provided enough of an offensive threat to allow Georgetown’s guards to operate freely on the perimeter. Smith scored four points for the Hoyas in overtime.

“I believe that no matter who’s guarding me 1-on-1 that I can score on them,” Smith said. “And that’s not me being selfish. That’s just me believing in my team and them putting me in the right positions. I love passing as much as I love dunking and scoring.

The win will most likely elevate Georgetown into the top 25 for the first time this season. The Hoyas will hope to earn a top-25 ranking when it opens up Big East play against Xavier on New Year’s Eve in their first true road game of the season.

“I think this is a great win for us — it’s a good start going into Xavier.” Smith-Rivera said. “I think that it’ll be good for a lot of energy and a lot of excitement going into the conference games.”

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