WASHINGTON — Don’t count Georgetown out this year’s NCAA Tournament just yet.
Guards D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera and Markel Starks each posted double-doubles, and a hot-shooting first half propelled the Hoyas to a 75-63 victory over No. 13 Creighton on Tuesday night.
Creighton forward Doug McDermott led all scorers with 22 points, but Georgetown had more weapons on both ends of the court. Smith-Rivera had 18 points and a career-high 12 rebounds. Starks, one of the Hoyas’ five seniors, finished with 17 points and a career-best 11 assists on senior day.
Georgetown (17-12, 8-9 Big East) limited McDermott offensively in the first half, led by 16 points in the second half and closed the game with a 9-2 spurt.
“This is a dream come true, and I mean that on many different levels,” said Starks, a D.C.-area native who grew up rooting for the Hoyas. “I’ve worked my entire life to get here. For that to be my last home game in a Georgetown uniform, it’s emotional.”
His coach isn’t ready to imagine life without this senior class.
“I don’t want to think about,” Georgetown’s John Thompson III said. “This is a group, (Markel) is a player we’re going to miss. This is his last home game, but we plan on him playing quite a few more games in a Georgetown uniform before everything is said and done.”
The Bluejays (23-6, 13-4) lost their second game in a row and fell 1 1/2 games behind first-place Villanova in the Big East standings.
For the second time this season, the Hoyas did not allow McDermott to perform to his usual national Player of the Year level, though he scored 16 in the second half.
Georgetown held McDermott to 14 points in Creighton’s 76-63 home victory on Jan. 25. In the rematch, the senior missed his first four shots from the field and went 3-for-10 for six points in the first half.
The Hoyas had no issues offensively, shooting 61.5 percent (16 of 26) from the field for a 42-28 halftime lead. Smith-Rivera scored 13 first-half points, and Starks had seven assists before the break.
“Georgetown has been getting off to some quick starts recently,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “That was a concern of ours. We tried to get off to a good start. Obviously, we were not able to accomplish that.”
Trailing 59-44 with 9:03 remaining, Creighton rallied as McDermott, who also grabbed 12 rebounds, sank three 3-pointers during an 11-2 run.
“I thought we did an outstanding job on him — and he finishes with 22 points,” Thompson said. “The few times you make a mistake, fall asleep, it’s like bam-bam-bam, he’s getting buckets in a row.”
Creighton guard Grant Gibbs scored 17 points, and his 3-pointer made it 66-61 with 1:31 remaining, but the Bluejays would get no closer.
Starks deftly fed fellow senior guard Aaron Bowen for a layup on Georgetown’s next possession.
Smith-Rivera and Starks posted Georgetown’s second and third double-doubles of the season. The Hoyas’ starting lineup made 22 of 38 shots from the field (57.9 percent).
Guard Austin Chatman added 14 points for Creighton. The nation’s top 3-point shooting team finished 10 of 29 (34.5 percent) from beyond the arc.
Bowen and forward Mikael Hopkins, who had 10 points and five blocks, keyed the defensive effort on McDermott, who finished 9-for-23 from the field.
“Hopkins is one of the more physical defenders I’ve ever faced,” Doug McDermott said. “Give him a lot of credit. I got off to a slow start. My shot just wasn’t falling.
“We’ve got to flip the page. It’s been a tough road trip for us.”
Despite an overall dicey resume from an NCAA Tournament at-large perspective, Georgetown has notable wins over Kansas State, Virginia Commonwealth, Michigan State, Xavier and now Creighton.
The Hoyas’ regular season wraps up Saturday at No. 6 Villanova. Thompson’s team might need to win in Philadelphia to ensure a spot in the field of 68.
Losing six of seven games earlier in Big East play hurt. Guard Jabril Trawick, who scored 15 points Tuesday, missed that stretch with a broken jaw. He is back. So are the Hoyas.
“The time (Jabril) was out, we were floating a little bit,”
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