By Zolan Kanno-Youngs
Coach Bill Coen got arguably his most impressive non-conference win of his career on Thursday as the Huskies upset the Hoyas 63-56 at Robert Clemente Coliseum in the quarter-final round of the Puerto Rico Tip-off.
The Huskies were able to rally from a 14-point deficit with the help of 30 points and 19 rebounds from their starting frontcourt. Junior Reggie Spencer led the way with 18 points and 9 rebounds while red shirt junior Scott Eatherton notched his third double double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Northeastern big men showed their toughness on interior defense as well, winning the battle of the paint 34-26.
Sophomore guard D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera was the only Hoya to score in double figures with 14 pints on 5-14 shooting.
It didn’t look good for the Huskies when Georgetown scored the first 4 points of the second half, pushing the lead to 40-28. The resilient Huskies would respond, however, with a 12-0 run that stretched over seven minutes. Sophomore guard David Walker and freshman guard T.J. Williams had 4 points each during the run.
The teams then traded baskets for the next 3 minutes to even up the score at 46-46. With 6:29 left in the game, sophomore forward Derrico Peck came up with a steal at the top of the Northeastern defense and gave the Huskies the lead with a slam on the other end.
Thanks to great free throw shooting (6-7) from the Huskies in the proceeding 5 minutes, the game remained within one possession.
With the lead 58-56, the Huskies came up with another huge steal when Williams poked a ball loose and converted on a fast break layup with 1:09 to go in the game.
After a missed layup from Smith-Rivera, Spencer earned a trip to the line with tough post move in the midst of the Hoya interior defense.
The Tuscaloosa native then put capped off the upset with a fast-break slam in the final seconds of the game.
It will be a rematch of last year’s Great Alaskan Shoot-out championship tomorrow when Northeastern takes on Charlotte at 2:30 pm in the semi-final round of the Puerto-Rican tip-off.
Zolan Kanno-Youngs is the Huntington News beat writer and a WRBB commentator for Northeastern basketball. Follow him @KannoYoungs.