Feb. 24, 2007
Washington, D.C. - Junior guard Jonathan Wallace (Harvest, Ala./Sparkman) scored a game-high 17 points and junior forward Jeff Green (Hyattsville, Md./Northwestern) scored 11 of his 14 points in the second half as No. 12 Georgetown fought back from an eight-point deficit with eight minutes remaining en route to a 61-53 win over No. 10 Pittsburgh in front of a crowd of 20,038 at Verizon Center Saturday afternoon.
It was the 11th-straight win for the Hoyas, who improved to 22-5 overall and 12-2 in the BIG EAST Conference and took a one-game lead over the Panthers, who fall to 24-5 overall and 11-3 in league play.
Trailing by eight points (44-36) after a three-pointer from Ronald Ramon with eight minutes left, the Hoyas tied the game at 49-all on a jumper from Green with 5:25 to play and used a 12-4 run over the remainder of the game.
Sophomore guard Jessie Sapp (New York, N.Y./National Christian Academy) took a feed from Green for a breakaway layup and Wallace scored on a fast-break layup after a Sapp steal to break the tie, giving the Hoyas a 53-49 lead. A layup from Pitt junior Aaron Gray cut the margin to 53-51, but Green hit a pair of free throws, made a steal on the next possession and fed Sapp for a layup, pushing the margin to six points, 57-51. Georgetown hit four of six free throws in the final 38 seconds to seal the win.
Georgetown had led by three points (29-26) and back-to-back baskets from junior center Roy Hibbert (Adelphi, Md./Georgetown Prep) gave the Hoyas their biggest lead, 33-26, just two minutes into the final frame. The Panthers, however, came back with a 13-0 run over a span of 4:30 and took a 39-33 lead after a three-pointer from Sam Young. A three-point play from Green pulled the Hoyas back to within three points, 39-36, but a baseline jumper from Levon Kendall and a three-pointer from Ronald Ramon gave the Panthers their biggest lead, 44-36. The Hoyas then turned to Green and Hibbert, who led a 13-5 run over a span of 6:35 that tied the game at 49-all after Green's jumper. A conventional three-point play from Hibbert started the run and Green scored six points during the stretch, setting up the dramatics in the final five minutes.
The first half was a see-saw affair with two ties and seven lead changes, the Hoyas taking their biggest lead, 29-24, on a jumper from Wallace with 1:07 to play in the first half.
The Panthers took an early lead after baskets from Mike Cook and Sam Young and held the lead through the opening seven minutes of play. Pitt led by four points, 11-7, after a layup from Tyrell Biggs, but a 9-0 run over a span of 3:40 gave the Hoyas a 16-11 lead. Free throws from Sapp and a fast-break dunk from freshman forward DaJuan Summers (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) tied the game for the first time and Summers followed with a three for the three-point lead. The teams went scoreless for the next 2:40 before Wallace capped the run with a pair of free throws. Pitt responded by scoring eight of the next 10 points, with junior center Aaron Gray scoring five points, and taking a 19-18 lead with 6:01 to play.
The lead changed hands four more times over the next four minutes, but free throws from Wallace gave the Hoyas a 25-24 lead with 2:27 to play. Hibbert followed with two more free throws and a jumper from Wallace increased the margin to five points with 1:07 to play. A pair of free throws from Ronald Ramon left the lead at three points going into the break.
Georgetown shot 47.4 percent from the floor (18-of-38), hit 20.0 percent of its three-pointers (3-of-15) and connected on 75.9 percent of its free throws (22-of-29). Pittsburgh shot 32.8 percent from the floor (19-of-58), hit 29.2 percent of its three-pointers (7-of-24) and hit 50 percent of its free throws (8-of-16)
Georgetown plays next on Monday, February 26, traveling to play at Syracuse. Tip-off at the Carrier Dome is slated for 7 p.m. The game will be shown live on ESPN and can be heard locally on SportsTalk 980 AM.