Charles Nailen/The Hoya The Hoyas opened their season at home against Grambling Friday.

Two down, 25 to go.

The Georgetown men’s basketball team cruised to its second straight early-season win last night, with an 80-60 victory over Colonial Athletic Association opponent James Madison (1-1).

The Hoyas were led by junior forward Mike Sweetney and junior guard Gerald Riley, who both reached career milestones in the victory. Sweetney became the thirty-third Hoya to score 1,000 career points as he tallied 21, and Riley netted a career-high 23 points.

Head Coach Craig Esherick stuck with the trend he established in Friday’s season opener of spreading the playing time around; ten players saw 10 minutes or more. Esherick used the same starting lineup as he did Friday, going with a tall frontcourt made up of Sweetney (6-foot-8), senior center Wesley Wilson (6-foot-10 and a half) and freshman forward Brandon Bowman (6-foot-8). Sophomore guard Tony Bethel started at the point guard position and was joined by Riley in the backcourt.

The point guard position has been the main question mark in the Hoya lineup after the loss of Kevin Braswell to graduation. Although Bethel started and played 29 minutes, sophomore guard Drew Hall gave him plenty of help, starting the second half and chipping in 24 minutes.

The Hoyas’ offensive effort rested heavily on the shoulders of Riley and Sweetney, as they were the only players who scored in double figures.

“I looked at the box score, and I was surprised that Mike [Sweetney] and Gerald [Riley] were the only two people that really had significant amounts of points. But we have some other people that can score. [Senior forward Wesley Wilson] can score. Tony [Bethel] can score. Brandon Bowman, when he gets more experience, he’ll be able to score. [Freshman guard] Ashanti Cook can score extremely well,” Esherick said.

On the other end of the court, the Hoyas’ strong defensive performance shut down the Dukes’ squad, which shot 40 percent from the floor. The Hoyas’ height gave them a defensive advantage, and they applied a full-court press for essentially the entire game.

“Over the course of the whole game, I think what wore them down was our man-to-man defense,” Esherick said.

The Hoyas out-rebounded the Dukes 49-32, grabbing 31 defensive rebounds. Sweetney led the team in rebounds with nine.

“My worry is not going to be offense this year, it’s going to be defensive rebounding. And I think rebounding, we’ve done a heck of a job these first two games,” Esherick said.

James Madison showed signs of life throughout the game, cutting the Hoyas’ lead to 10 with 2:32 remaining in the first half. Esherick pointed to what happened next as a crucial point in the game.

“Ashanti Cook had a big rebound and was fouled,” Esherick said. “Victor Samnick hit a shot on the baseline, Courtland [Freeman] hit a shot at the free-throw line and Gerald Riley hit a couple of big threes. And I thought that was the key turning point in the game.”

The Dukes kept fighting, however, taking advantage of some Hoya sloppiness toward the end of the game to make the second-half score 35-32 in the Hoyas’ favor.

But Riley and Sweetney’s offensive performances put the Hoyas ahead in the end. Riley was four-for-four from beyond the three-point line, contributing to his 23 points.

“They were giving me some room,” Riley said. “They were collapsing a lot on our post players and I was really just trying to find my rhythm and hurt them from the outside.”

Esherick was pleased. “In the second half, Gerald Riley shot the ball extremely well. But he’s been shooting the ball well all year, so it didn’t surprise me,” he said.

Sweetney, who said he is still battling a slight cold, got the hook from Esherick with 10:48 left in the first half after getting called for two fouls. He did not return to the floor until the second half.

“I think Mike Sweetney played great defense. He probably played one of the better defensive games that he’s played at Georgetown,” Esherick said.

Neither Sweetney nor Riley were aware of their achievements prior to the game or when they attained them. Sweetney was alerted by his teammate, senior guard Trenton Hillier, during halftime. Riley didn’t know until after the game, when members of the media interviewed him.

The victory, before 7,180 at MCI Center, including former Hoya great Patrick Ewing (CAS ’85), came as the Hoyas’ second of seven straight home games. They face Towson on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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