Smith, Hoyas hammer Robert Morris, 80-66


Kyle Gorcey

Aaron Bowen blocks Marcquise Reed’s layup attempt Saturday at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

Nick Buzzelli, Editor-in-Chief

Washington, D.C. – Standing 6-foot-9, Lionel Gomis and Stephan Bennett – Robert Morris’ two tallest players – are built for a mid-major program, both in size and strength.

But weighing in at 230 and 215 pounds, respectively, has made it difficult for the two to defend bigger, faster and stronger players.

Especially 6-foot-10, 350 pound Georgetown center Josh Smith, a UCLA transfer.

Smith overpowered RMU’s front court, netting 22 points and grabbing 11 rebounds in 26 minutes in the Hoyas’ (3-0) 14 point win over RMU (1-3) Saturday afternoon at the Verizon Center.

“Obviously the size and strength was something that, I think, wore on us during the course of the game. I thought we did a pretty decent job of flooding the paint early in the game and then they were able to make some three’s early,” said head coach Andy Toole. “That made it difficult but I think from a defensive standpoint, we didn’t do a terrible job.”

After winning the tipoff, Smith coughed the ball up to Lucky Jones who then fed Dave Appolon for a jump shot, giving Robert Morris an early advantage. However on the ensuing possession, D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera answered with a jumper of his own, knotting the score at two.

From that point forward, GU never looked back.

The Colonials came within three at the 7:28 mark after Kavon Stewart went two-for-two from the charity stripe, but Georgetown used a 15-6 run to end the first half ahead by 12.

And the Hoyas didn’t let up in the final frame.

Despite being down by 27, RMU was able to close out the contest with a 30-17 run, giving the team a positive to build upon.

“We did do a good job of fighting back, which we’ll take and talk about how to try and extend that period of play for a much longer time,” Toole said of his team’s performance during the contest’s final nine minutes. “But I’m proud of the way the guys continued to fight and play the right way, regardless of the score and that’s something we’ll take and build off of.”

Although he only shot 22.2 percent from the floor, Georgetown head coach John Thompson III was impressed with the play of freshman guard Marcquise Reed.

“… He is one of these guys that is going to six points just by being on the court. And we just wanted to be attentive to him,” Thompson said of the Landover, Maryland native. “He’s had some pretty good games so far already in his young career. And it looks like he is going to keep doing what he did in high school, which was put the ball in the basket.”

Even though the outcome of RMU’s first two Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament games haven’t been ideal, junior college transfer Rodney Pryor, who led the Colonials with 16 tallies on a 4-7 performance from the field, is confident that the Colonials can learn from this experience.

“I think it’s a chance for us to see where we stand. These are the high-majors of our college basketball world and these are guys that are potential pros, so when we come in we want to compete at a high level and show that we can also play with these guys, even though we are a mid-major,” said Pryor, who competed at Cloud County Community College last season. “So coming to these games are great experiences and with the blowouts, we have to be able to take out what we did well as a team and what we did not good as a team and learn from it.”