Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Hoyas Top Mountaineers With Late Run

They just keep finding ways to get it done.

Showing the poise and calm of an NCAA tournament-caliber team in the final minutes, Georgetown went on a late run and held on at the end for a 67-60 victory over a tough West Virginia team Saturday before a near-capacity crowd of 14,458 at MCI Center. It was the largest, and almost certainly the loudest, crowd to see a Hoya home game this season.

The game was tight throughout, and the Hoyas (16-6, 8-3) never led the Mountaineers (14-8, 4-7) by more than three points until there were just over two minutes to go in the second half. Georgetown had several chances to extend its lead during in the second, but West Virginia, who had made more three-pointers than any Big East team coming into the game, always was able to get a three to keep the game close.

Finally, with less than three minutes to play and the score tied at 54-54, Georgetown started to take control. The Mountaineer defensive pressure trapped junior forward Brandon Bowman next to the Hoya bench, and he was forced to call a timeout with 2:51 to play and only nine seconds left on the shot clock.

Off the timeout, Georgetown still had trouble getting an open look until freshman guard Jonathan Wallace found senior swingman Darrel Owens at the top of the key. Owens had not been shooting the ball well in the last couple of weeks and saw his three-point shooting percentage dip under 25 percent in conference games. He had missed both of his previous three-point attempts in the game.

But Owens was undeterred. He stepped up and drilled the huge three as the shot clock was expiring and gave the Hoyas a lead they would hold for the rest of the game.

“What we wanted [on the play], didn’t happen,” Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III said. “We wanted to get a shot right away, but it wasn’t there. We did a good job of whipping it around and got an open shot for a guy that could make one.”

On the ensuing possession, sophomore guard Ray Reed came up with a steal on West Virginia junior guard Johannes Herber. Reed took the ball the other way uncontested for a layup and put the Hoyas up by five, their largest lead of the game, with 2:07 to play.

A minute later, the Mountaineers broke a four-minute scoring drought and were able to close to 61-59 with 30 seconds left. Once again though, Georgetown did not panic. The Hoyas broke the ountaineer press as Reed threw a long pass to Green who found a streaking Bowman who laid the ball in to push the lead back to four points.

“Georgetown made some plays in the last couple minutes and made some shots that we couldn’t make,” West Virginia Head Coach John Beilein said. “And our last two turnovers were costly.”

Fittingly, the game was sealed when freshman forward Jeff Green pulled down a big rebound off a missed three by Mountaineer junior center Kevin Pittsnogle. He was immediately fouled and hit both free throws at the other end to put the game out of reach. Green, who had only four points in limited action due to foul trouble in the first half, made up for his absence in a big way in the second. He scored 17 points in the second for a total of 21 in the game, one short of his career-high. He also pulled down nine rebounds.

“Green makes a huge, huge, huge difference,” Beilein said. “You got a kid that can pass it, rebound and shoot threes.”

The Hoyas showed some predictable rust in the first half after a full week without playing. The Mountaineers’ unconventional 1-3-1 zone also gave them problems, and they trailed by as many as eight and turned the ball over 11 times in the half.

In addition to Green’s foul trouble, Bowman also picked up two quick fouls and sat for a long period in the half. Other Hoyas stepped up though, including freshman center Roy Hibbert, who had six points in the first 20 minutes and capped it off with a big dunk in the final minute. Georgetown trailed only 29-26 at the half and took its first lead of the game less than two minutes into the second.

“It wasn’t their D, it was more us,” Green said. “In the second half, we had to make sure everything was perfect on offense.”

Georgetown takes its three-game winning streak into South Bend, Ind. to play Notre Dame Wednesday night in another retro game broadcast on ESPNClassic. A win there would make the Hoyas a virtual lock for an NCAA at-large bid.

“We’ve learned a lot, but we still need to learn a lot,” Thompson said. “But this group has done a very good job of not panicking when it gets ugly, not panicking no matter how much time is on the clock and finding ways to win games.”

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