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Copeland helps Hoyas upset No. 4 Villanova

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WASHINGTON — The “overrated” chants began with 2:17 left in the game and the home team ahead by 15 points.

A few minutes later, as the final buzzer sounded, Georgetown students rushed the court to celebrate the Hoyas’ convincing 78-58 victory over No. 4 Villanova in a Big East Conference game late Monday night.

“The students watch a lot of TV,” said Georgetown coach John Thompson III, who added he wished the students wouldn’t have rushed the court.

Freshman forward Isaac Copeland came off the bench to score a career-high 17 points just two days after he made a last-second shot to beat Butler.

Copeland made five of six shots from the field and seven of eight from the foul line. He has a total of 27 points the past two games after scoring just 12 points in the six games prior to that.

“It is two outstanding games in a row. He is doing his job,” Thompson said of Copeland, who helped the Georgetown bench outscore the Villanova subs 31-15.

So did he gain confidence after the game-winner against Butler?

“It had something to do with it,” Copeland said. “It was a team effort.”

The Hoyas (13-5, 5-2) took over first place in the Big East. Senior guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera also had 17 points for Georgetown, and guard Jabril Trawick added 10 points despite leaving the game for a few minutes in the second half after he was hit in the head.

It was not just the Georgetown students who showed emotion. Smith-Rivera pumped his fists toward the ground after he made two free throws and was taken out of the contest in the closing seconds.

“We got contributions across the board,” Thompson said. “We played well in the first half. We executed our game plan. Out defensive effort … was outstanding. I thought our guys did a very good job of being defensive without overextending.

“(Villanova) did not have their best night. They had an off night. We had a lot to do with them having an off night.”

Villanova, which began the day leading the Big East, took its first loss in five games. The Wildcats (17-2, 4-2) won each of their previous three games matchups with Georgetown, but they committed 17 turnovers and made just 34 percent of their shots Monday.

The visitors got a team-high 16 points from guard Ryan Arcidiacono. Local product Josh Hart, a reserve guard, had 10 points for the Wildcats, while standout forward Daniel Ochefu was held to four points on 2-of-5 shooting from the field.

“They just played harder than us,” Arcidiacono said. “They were definitely the better team.”

The Wildcats trailed by 22 points at halftime after giving the ball away 10 times, but they cut the margin to 62-50 midway through the second half.

Georgetown center Joshua Smith, who finished with nine points and eight rebounds despite being plagued by foul trouble most of the night, scored inside to make it 65-50. After a block by Trawick, Copeland made a free throw, and his 3-pointer on the next possession pushed the lead to 68-50 and helped seal the victory.

The Hoyas built a 42-20 halftime lead thanks to a tenacious defense and strong outside shooting. On the night, Georgetown was 6-for-12 from 3-point range and made 51 percent of its field-goal tries.

Georgetown made it 42-19 on a 3-pointer by Trawick with 1:02 left in the half. Trawick and Copeland each had eight points before the break.

“We just wanted to come out and play Georgetown basketball,” Trawick said.

The first half included a 17-0 run by the Hoyas.

“That was maybe as good of a defensive stretch we have had in a long time,” Thompson said. “We did a good job of sharing the ball most of the game. Our depth helped us. We have bodies. We have guys that can come in with no drop-off. We can sustain that and we did today.”

Georgetown freshman reserve forward Paul White also had a good night, producing nine points on 3-of-3 shooting, including 2-of-2 from 3-point range.

“I think they are a very good team,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said of Georgetown. “They never got tentative with the lead. Their defense created

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