Monroe's Double-Double Leads Georgetown to BIG EAST Title Game, Hoyas Top Marquette 80-57 in Semifinals
March 12, 2010
NEW YORK--Sophomore center Greg Monroe (New Orleans, La./Helen Cox) recorded his 13th double-double of the season with a game-high 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead four players in double figures as eighth-seeded Georgetown used a big second half en route to an 80-57 win over fifth-seeded Marquette in the BIG EAST Semifinals on Friday night in front of 19,375 fans at Madison Square Garden.
The Hoyas, 23-9 overall, advance to the BIG EAST Championship Game, where they will play the winner of a game between West Virginia and Notre Dame on Saturday, March 13 at 9 p.m. This is the 13th appearance in the BIG EAST Championship Game for Georgetown and it is the third time the Hoyas have advanced to the title game under sixth-year Head Coach John Thompson III.
Monroe recorded his third-straight double-double, and fourth in the last six games, connecting on 9-of-15 shots from the field (including one three-pointer), adding 13 boards and seven assists. Junior guard Chris Wright (Bowie, Md./St. John's College H.S. [D.C.]) scored 15 points and four rebounds, junior guard Austin Freeman (Mitchellville, Md./DeMatha) added 12 points and tied a career-high with eight rebounds and sophomore guard Jason Clark (Arlington, Va./Bishop O'Connell) finished with 15 points, four rebounds and three assists.
The Hoyas opened up an 11-point lead, 48-37, early in the second half, but Marquette pulled to within one, 48-47 on three-point play from Lazar Hayward. Georgetown responded with a decisive 22-5 run over 7:49 and took a 70-52 lead on a conventional three-point play from Freeman with 5:32 to play.
Wright scored eight of the first 10 points during the run as GU opened up a 58-51 lead on a pair of free throws from the junior co-captain with 10:28 to play. Freshman guard Hollis Thompson (Los Angeles, Calif./Loyola) followed with a running jumper in the lane, Clark scored on a second-chance basket, Monroe hit a layup and then a three and assisted on Freeman's basket to close out the run.
The Hoyas defense, meanwhile, limited Marquette to only two field goals over a span of 10:20 in the second half. Georgetown held its biggest lead, 23 points, on two occasions, first on a free throw from Wright with 1;40 left (78-55) and then on a pair of free throws from freshman guard Vee Sanford (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic) to provide the final margin with 17 seconds left.
The Hoyas got off to a quick start, scoring the first seven points of the game after a three from Wright, a Julian Vaughn (Vienna, Va./Oak Hill Academy) layup and a Monroe dunk after a steal from Clark, the latter forcing Marquette to call a timeout 76 seconds into the game. The run continued as the Hoyas outscored the Golden Eagles 8-4, capping off a 15-4 run over the first 4:16 of the game on a Monroe dunk.
Marquette, however, would come back. They pulled to within 15-11 on a three-pointer from Hayward with 11:31 to play, but a layup from Vaughn and one from Wright off an inbounds play pushed the Hoya lead back to eight points, 19-11, with 10:18 to play. A three-point play from Butler narrowed the gap to 19-14, but a layup from Monroe and a three-pointer from Vaughn gave Georgetown a 24-14 lead. The Golden Eagles went on a 15-5 run over 2:52 and back-to-back three-points from David Cubillan and Hayward tied the game at 29-all with 5:48 left in the half. Monroe scored on a layup with 30 seconds left, giving the Hoyas a 37-34 lead at the break. Georgetown out-scored Marquette 22-10 in the paint during the opening 20 minutes, with Monroe tallying 14 points.
Vaughn added eight points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots, while Thompson finished with five points and two rebounds off the bench. Georgetown shot 53.6 percent from the floor (30-of-56), hit 50.0 percent of its three-pointers (6-of-12) and 66.7 percent of its free throws (14-of-21). The Hoyas held a dominant edge on the boards, 44-24, and out-scored Marquette 46-22 in the paint overall. GU handed out 15 field goals on 30 assists.