- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 8, 2004

You’d think the Miami Hurricanes would have learned the first time.

In case the Hurricanes were not paying attention during Gerald Riley’s big game earlier in Miami, Georgetown’s co-captain obligingly showed the South Floridians again that he is their biggest nightmare this season.

Seven days after lighting up the Hurricanes for 35 points, Riley, the Big East’s reigning co-Player of the Week, scored 29 of his career-high 37 points in the second half to lead the Hoyas to an important 80-64 victory last night before 10,581 at MCI Center.

In last Saturday’s 87-80 overtime victory at Miami, Riley scored seven points in the extra period to reach his career high. This time, he didn’t need overtime.

“I’m pretty sure I was on their scouting report from the last game,” Riley said. “I was able to find some open spots and the point guards were able to find me, and they were able to get the ball to me and I was able to take quick shots.”

Riley’s heroics came at an opportune time for the Hoyas (13-6, 4-5 Big East), who embark on a three-game road trip beginning Wednesday at Virginia Tech (8-11, 2-6).

Riley, Georgetown’s 6-foot-6 shooting guard, made 12 of 18 shots from the floor, including three of six from behind the 3-point arc, and went 10-for-10 from the free throw line. Riley’s huge scoring night pushed the Hoyas into a three-way tie for seventh place with West Virginia and Notre Dame.

“Gerald is as good a shooter as there is in the country when he’s got a couple seconds,” Hoyas coach Craig Esherick said. “He’s had a stretch these last couple games where I don’t know if anybody has played as well as he has in the country.”

The three things Miami (13-10, 3-6) wanted to accomplish in this game was to be safe with the ball, control Riley, and stop the bleeding. The Hurricanes failed on all accounts. Miami turned the ball over a season-high 24 times, Riley torched the Hurricanes again and Miami lost its fifth straight.

“Obviously, we don’t match up well against him,” said Miami coach Perry Clark, who failed to win his 250th game in his fifth try. “It’s a tough matchup for us. The first half I thought we did a great job on him. The second half he got a lot of open looks and didn’t miss any.”

Riley paced four Hoyas in double figures. Forward Brandon Bowman contributed 19 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three blocks. Small forward Darrel Owens added 13 points, and center Courtland Freeman chipped in 10 points and six rebounds.

In the pivotal second half, the Hoyas shot 65 percent, making 15 of 23. It wasn’t that way in the first half. Though Miami turned the ball over 15 times, the Hurricanes led 33-25 because of poor shooting and an inability to rebound on the Hoyas’ part.

However, Georgetown boosted their halftime shooting percentage to a passable 38.7 (12 of 31) in the final four minutes, when a succession of Miami turnovers led to what turned into a Georgetown layup drill.

Those layups slashed a 27-16 Miami lead to just 27-22. The Hoyas didn’t help themselves from behind the 3-point arc either in the first half, missing all six they attempted.

The Hoyas were massacred on the glass 23-9 by the Hurricanes in the first half. Miami didn’t hurt the Hoyas that badly on the offensive glass (7-3) in the first 20 minutes but refused to allow Georgetown any second-chance opportunities, collecting 16 defensive rebounds.

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