The Georgetown men’s basketball team (4-4, Big East) defeated UMBC (5-4, American East) by a score of 100-71 in a huge bounce-back game for the Hoyas. For Georgetown, graduate guard Kaiden Rice had an outstanding performance, with 34 points on 10-12 from three-point range, while freshman big Ryan Mutumbo had a collegiate high of 15 points, as well as 10 rebounds and four blocks off the bench. For UMBC, senior guard L.J. Owens scored 17 points, the lone offensive bright spot for the Retrievers, who finished the game shooting just 35.4% from the field.
The start of the game would be a foreshadowing of things to come, as two Kaiden Rice threes, as well as a three from graduate guard Donald Carey, kickstarted a 9-0 Georgetown run, giving them an 11-5 lead over the Retrievers. The Hoyas would continue to punish UMBC on the offensive end, going on a 20-3 run overall with 13:33 remaining in the first half, thanks to strong shooting from deep and finishing inside. The first quarter of the game was all Hoyas; the team hit 10 of their last 10 field goals in their run, putting them up 26-16 with 11:37 left in the first half.
Unfortunately, UMBC came clawing back, going on their own 9-0 run and cutting the lead to just 28-24 Hoyas with 9:01 left in the half. Eventually, the Retrievers fought all the way back, taking the lead 33-31 as part of an 18-3 run overall. UMBC was not able to maintain their lead though, as the Hoyas immediately bounced back with a 7-0 run in just over a minute, putting them up 38-33. Freshman guard Aminu Mohammed hit a big last-second three to give the Hoyas a reasonable 48-40 lead to end the half.
Additionally, at the half, Rice was already up to 14 points on 4-5 from three, above his season average in both points and threes made. He would pour on another 20 in the second half on six more threes—an extremely encouraging showing given his recent struggles from the field.
“It’s easy when you have the teammates I got, I love these guys,” said Rice. “They do a really good job of finding me, our two point guards had 13 assists combined together, and when that happens all my job is easy, I just gotta knock it down.”
The second half was some of the best basketball we’ve seen thus far from the young Hoyas squad, as Georgetown outscored UMBC 52-31, thanks in large part to the hot hand of Rice. The Hoya offense was rolling to start the half, going up 59-46 with 16:02 left. Mutombo also made his presence known, as it consistently seemed like UMBC had no match for him down low. Mutombo’s and-one layup underneath gave the Hoyas a 68-50 lead with 13:20 remaining, part of his great showing with his first double-double of the season.
Coach Patrick Ewing lauded the young big man’s efforts and impact throughout the game, as well as preached Mutombo’s importance as the Hoyas deal with the injury of their starting center, Timothy Ighoefe. “When he comes in we have to be able to get him the ball when he’s open, and he has to take and make good shots,” said Ewing. “His development is still a process, but it’s getting there.”
As the second half went on, it became the Kaiden Rice show, as Rice’s seventh three put the Hoyas up 81-57 with 10:26 to go. But it wouldn’t stop there, as Rice would hit two more threes promptly, putting Georgetown up 87-57 with 7:38 left in the game. Again in short fashion, Rice would cash in his tenth three of the game—a Georgetown basketball record—giving him 34 points on the night.
“It’s hard to explain but when you’re zoned you just know the next shot’s going in, and make or miss whatever shot I shoot, I 100% believe it’s going in no matter what kind of shot it is honestly,” Rice says of his fiery shooting.
The offense exploded in this matchup for the Hoyas, as the final score of 100-71 would be the first time this season the team scored triple digits, as well as Georgetown’s biggest margin of victory on the season—a whopping 29 point win. With a rivalry game with Syracuse coming up tomorrow, there is hope among the team that they can carry this performance through to their game against the Orange.
“We’re going to have our work cut out for us, we need Kaiden to be able to shoot the ball the way he shot it tonight, and we also need for Don, Dante, Aminu and everyone to be able to have a stellar game for us to win,” says Ewing of the team’s upcoming marquee matchup.
The Hoyas will look to continue their momentum versus Syracuse (5-4, ACC) on Saturday at 12:00 p.m. ET, heading towards the stretch run of non-conference play. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for more updates and coverage of all fall sports at Georgetown.