Jan. 17, 2010
PHILADELPHIA - Sophomore center Greg Monroe (New Orleans, La./Helen Cox) scored a career-high 29 points and tied his career best with 16 rebounds as No. 11 Georgetown raced back from a 15-point halftime deficit to tie the game late in the second half, but No. 4 Villanova hit eight free throws in the final minute and was able to hold on for a 82-77 win over the Hoyas in front of 20,016 fans at Wachovia Center Sunday afternoon.
Georgetown falls to 14-3 overall and 4-2 in the BIG EAST, while Villanova improves to 16-1 overall and 5-0 in league play.
For the second time in three games, the Hoyas trailed by 15 points at halftime. Last weekend, GU was behind 40-25 against Connecticut at home before storming back for the 72-69 win. This time, Villanova hit 53.1 percent of its first half shots and took a 46-31 lead at the break.
Georgetown made a pair of runs in the first six minutes of the second half, first a 10-4 spurt over the opening 2:39 that narrowed the gap to nine points, 50-41, and then another 10-4 run over 1:56 that pulled the Hoyas to within three points, 54-51, on a three-pointer from junior guard Austin Freeman (Mitchellville, Md./DeMatha).
Villanova still led by seven points, 66-59, after Corey Stokes hit two free throws with 7:23 to play, but a 10-3 Hoya run over 3:22 tied the game on a driving layup from Monroe. The sophomore from New Orleans scored four points from the free throw line and hit two baskets to account for eight points during the tying run.
Stokes missed a three-pointer with 3:45 and Monroe grabbed the rebound, one of a career-high tying 16 boards, before a running jumper from sophomore guard Jason Clark (Arlington, Va./Bishop O'Connell) was off the mark on a shot that could have given the Hoyas the lead.
Villanova senior guard Scottie Reynolds followed with a driving layup to give the Wildcats a 71-69 lead they would not relinquish. After Isaiah Armwood hit a free throw to make it 72-69, junior guard Chris Wright (Bowie, Md./St. John's College HS) hit two free throws to pull GU back within one point, 72-71, with 1:46 left.
Reggie Redding followed with a jumper to make it 74-71 and the Hoyas could not get closer in the final minute of play. Baskets from Freeman and Monroe narrowed the lead to three points on two occasions, but the Wildcats hit eight free throws in the final 36 seconds to seal the win.
The Hoyas jumped out to an early 5-4 lead after a Monroe three-pointer and led 8-7 after a long distance shot from Freeman, but the Wildcats went on a 7-0 run with Reynolds hitting a pair of three-points to take a 14-8 lead. A 6-0 run by the Hoyas, capped by a Wright layup, gave Georgetown a 15-14 lead, but Villanova used a 16-1 run over 7:10 and took a 30-16 lead on a Redding jumper.
Free throws from Monroe made it 30-20, but a 10-3 Villanova run over 1:57, capped by a layup from Mouphtaou Yarou, gave the Wildcats their biggest lead, 40-23. The Hoyas went more than 10 minutes during the middle of the first half without a field goal, but a three from Clark with 3:00 on the clock narrowed the lead to 40-26 before going into the half trailing by 15 points.
Monroe hit 9-of-13 shots from the field and 10-of-15 from the free throw line for a game-high 29 points, while grabbing 16 rebounds, blocking four shots, recording three steals and handing out two assists. Freeman added 22 points, six assists and four rebounds and Clark finished with 16 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals. The Hoyas shot 39.3 percent from the floor (24-of-61), hit 33.3 percent of their three-pointers (9-of-27) and 74.1 percent of their free throws (20-of-27). GU held a 45-40 advantage on the boards, handed out 18 assists, committed 15 turnovers, blocked eight shots and had 10 steals.
Georgetown plays next at Pittsburgh on Wednesday, Jan. 20. The game will be shown on ESPU and can be heard locally on ESPN 980 AM.
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