- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 16, 2003

BLACKSBURG, Va. This just in: The Georgetown Hoyas have more than one player.
Gerald Riley scored a career-high 31 points and made six of seven 3-point attempts to lead the Hoyas to a 85-73 victory over Virginia Tech yesterday before 4,857 at Cassell Coliseum.
With the win, the Hoyas (11-10, 3-7 Big East) snapped a six-game losing streak and avoided dropping below .500 for the first time this season. Georgetown also tied Rutgers for last place in the Big East's West Division.
It was all Riley all afternoon. He made 10 of 20 shots from the floor and fell one 3-pointer shy of tying Mark Tillmon's 13-year-old school record for 3-pointers.
Riley said he knew it was his day midway through the first half when he made an off-balance 3-pointer from the top of the key as he was falling to his left. The ball caught the back the back of the rim and fell through, giving the Hoyas a 20-10 lead.
"I was playing and everything was coming along," he said. "Once you hit a couple and they go in and you shoot an off-balance one and that goes in, then you know you've got something going."
The Hokies (10-13, 3-7) did a poor job of adjusting to Riley after halftime. Riley lit up the Hokies for 16 points in the first half and 15 in the second.
"When we scouted them, we knew he could shoot, but we didn't expect him to shoot like that," Hokies point guard Eric Branham said. "We didn't expect him to come out aggressive like that and shooting the ball that much, and he was knocking them down."
Riley's shooting seemed to give the Hoyas confidence. Behind Riley's sweet stroke, the Hoyas led 41-32 at halftime and jumped to a 56-39 edge with 12:56 left.
"Gerald has been putting up numbers all season and I don't think people have noticed him," said forward Mike Sweetney, who was hampered by foul trouble in the first half. "I was shocked at the lack of attention they gave him. I guess they were hoping he was going to calm down."
Riley came into this game as a 44 percent 3-point shooter and the Hoyas' second-leading scorer at 13.3. The junior was a major reason why the Hoyas shot nearly 50 percent from the floor yesterday.
Virginia Tech relied on a 2-3 zone defense, in part because the Hoyas entered the game as a 28.3 percent 3-point shooting team, but Riley shattered the strategy.
Sweetney, who played just eight minutes before the break, also came alive in the second half. He scored 16 of his 25 points in the second half.
The Hokies managed to cut Georgetown's 17-point lead to 58-50 with 9:49 left, but Sweetney held back every Hokies run with his strong inside game. Whenever the Hokies tried to make a run at the Hoyas, Sweetney responded with baskets.
"We have not won a game on the road, so rewarding doesn't describe the way I feel right now," said Georgetown coach Craig Esherick, whose team faces No.7 Pittsburgh (17-4, 7-3) tomorrow night at MCI Center. "We got a win today, and believe me that was rewarding enough. I didn't think we would ever win a road game again the way we were playing on the road. When you lose six games in a row, including a couple home games, you start to wonder what the heck is going on. Gerald Riley was really the one that pulled us together."

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