Georgetown jumps out early, holds on late to beat Villanova
New York, NY (Sports Network) – Roy Hibbert scored 14 points and Jeff Green
added 12, as ninth-ranked Georgetown used a dominant opening half and held on
for a 62-57 victory over Villanova in the quarterfinals of the Big East
Tournament at Madison Square Garden.
The Hoyas (24-6) scored the first 14 points of the game and led by 25 during
the first half on the way to their 13th win in 14 games. Georgetown, which is
the tournament’s top seed for the first time since last winning it in 1989,
will face 20th-ranked Notre Dame in Friday’s semifinals after the Irish
disposed of Syracuse 89-83.
Curtis Sumpter scored 18 points for Villanova (22-10), which beat DePaul in
the opening round of the tournament on Wednesday and will most likely earn an
at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Wildcats trailed the whole way, but made things interesting in the closing
Two free throws by Will Sheridan with 1:19 remaining pulled Villanova within
56-49 and the Wildcats trimmed the deficit to six before Scottie Reynolds saw
a three-pointer rim out with 40 seconds to play.
DaJuan Summers then made one from the line for Georgetown and Sumpter
countered with two from the stripe for Villanova to make it a 59-54 game with
27 seconds left.
After Jessie Sapp hit one free throw for the Hoyas, Sumpter missed a shot from
beyond the arc and Hibbert was alone at the other end for an easy dunk to
finally seal it. A three by Sumpter at the buzzer accounted for the final
“We came out early and scored so easily,” said Georgetown head coach John
Thompson III. “Then we settled in and they picked it up and we got to a point
where we got too tentative and started looking at the clock. We needed to stay
more in attack mode.”
Summers and Jonathan Wallace each scored 10 for the Hoyas, who blew a 15-point
lead in the semifinals of last year’s tournament in a loss to Syracuse.
Reynolds, who tied Villanova’s Big East Tournament record with 29 points in
the first round against DePaul, scored just 11. He was 4-of-14 from the field,
including 1-of-7 from three-point range.
Villanova missed its first nine shots and didn’t score until a Sumpter
fadeaway jumper 7 1/2 minutes into the contest. By that time, Georgetown had
already scored 14 points.
The Hoyas continued to pour it on, scoring the next 12 points to open a 26-2
cushion with just over 9 1/2 minutes to play in the half. It was 30-5 a few
moments later and a Green three-pointer with just under five minutes left gave
Georgetown a 35-10 advantage.
Villanova finished the half with an 8-2 run to pull within 19 at the break.
The Wildcats shot a dismal 27 percent in the opening 20 minutes, while the
Hoyas hit 57 percent of their shots.
Georgetown then struggled to start the second half, as Villanova scored 11 of
the first 13 points. A three-pointer by Reynolds drew the Wildcats within
39-29 with 14 1/2 minutes remaining.
The Hoyas, though, responded and built a 50-33 cushion on a bucket by Hibbert
with just under 9 1/2 minutes to play, but again Villanova came back and made
it a 10-point game at 50-40 with 6 1/2 minutes left.
Wallace drained a three-pointer to stem the Villanova spurt before the
Wildcats made it close down the stretch.
“I think we just ran into an outstanding team,” said Villanova head coach Jay
Wright, who was assessed a technical during Georgetown’s opening run. “I think
Georgetown is playing as good as any team in the country.”
Green, the Big East Player of the Year, also had nine rebounds…Villanova
again received only limited minutes from guard Mike Nardi, who is bothered by
ankle and calf injuries…Sheridan finished with 10 points for the Wildcats,
while Reggie Redding chipped in 11…Sapp scored eight for Georgetown…The
Hoyas and Wildcats split two games during the regular season…Georgetown
improved to 4-0 against Villanova in Big East Tournament play.