Jan. 14, 2008
Pittsburgh, Pa. - Pittsburgh used an 11-2 run to start the second half and scored six-straight points in the final three minutes to break open a close game and hold off a late charge from No. 5 Georgetown as the Hoyas lost on the road, 69-60, in front of a sold-out crowd of 12,508 at the Petersen Events Center.
The loss ends a five-game winning streak for the Hoyas, who fall to 13-2 overall and 3-1 in the league. No. 5 Georgetown had been the only undefeated team in the BIG EAS entering Monday's contest. The Panthers improve to 15-2 overall and 3-1 in the conference.
Georgetown trailed by as many as 12 points in the second half, pulled to within four at one point and then narrowed its gap to five points, 58-53) after a pair of free throws from senior center Roy Hibbert (Adelphi, Md./Georgetown Prep) with 3:15 left. Five-straight free throws - one from Sam Young and two apiece from Keith Benjamin and Ronald Ramon - gave the Panthers a 64-53 lead with 1:38 to play.
Georgetown had trailed at the half for only the third time all season, but after DeJuan Blair hit one of two free throws, Ronald Ramon and Keith Benjamin hit back-to-back three-pointers, giving the Panthers a 34-26 lead with 17:05 to play. A turnaround jumper from sophomore guard Jeremiah Rivers (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) made it 34-28, but Blair hit a jumper and Young followed with a baseline dunk to make it 38-28. Hibbert hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to eight points, but Ramon scored on a layup and Young added a drive as the Panthers took their biggest lead, 42-30, with 13:50 to play.
Georgetown, however, would not quit and used a 14-5 run over a span of 4:36 and pulled to within three points, 47-44, on a steal and layup from senior forward Patrick Ewing, Jr. (Marietta, Ga./National Christian Academy [Md.]). The Hoyas had strong contributions from the bench during the run, with Ewing scoring four points, senior guard Tyler Crawford (Stuarts Draft, Va./Robert E. Lee) grabbing an offensive and hitting two free throws and sophomore forward Vernon Macklin (Portsmouth, Va./Hargrave Military Academy) scoring six points.
Pitt led for the entire first half, but could not pull away from the Hoyas, who after hitting only four of their first nine field goals in the opening 10 minutes of play, connected on seven of their last 13 shots in the final 9:25.
A bank from Blair and consecutive three-pointers from Benjamin and Ramon gave the Panthers an 8-3 lead at the 17:08 mark, but the Hoyas pulled to within one point, 9-8, when Sapp fed Ewing for a backdoor layup. Pittsburgh took a five-point lead, 13-8, on a Biggs layup with 10:01 to play, but two-straight baskets from Macklin pulled GU to within 13-12.
The Panthers again pushed the lead back to five points, 17-12, after a Blair drive, but Georgetown out-scored Pitt 14-10 over the final 4:35 of the first half and pulled to within a point, 27-26, on a halfcourt heave from senior guard Jonathan Wallace (Harvest, Ala./Sparkman). Freeman scored six points during the late first half run.
Wallace scored 14 points to lead the Hoyas, while Hibbert recorded his third double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds and Macklin tied his career high with 10 points.
The Hoyas shot 44.2 percent from the floor (23-of-52), were 15.0 percent from three-point land (3-of-11) and hit 84.6 percent of their free throws (11-of-13). Pittsburgh held a 37-33 advantage on the board, while GU handed out 15 assists and committed 10 turnovers.
Georgetown returns home to play Notre Dame on Saturday, January 19 at Verizon Center. Tip-off is slated for noon. The game will be shown live on MASN, with Mike Gleason and Bob Wenzel calling the action. The game will be shown locally on Sports Talk 980 AM with Rich Chvotkin handling the play-by-play.
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