March 13, 2010
NEW YORK (AP)--Junior guard Chris Wright (Bowie, Md./St. John's College H.S. [D.C.]) scored 20 points and handed out eight assists, but a driving layup as time expired was off the mark as eighth-seeded Georgetown lost the BIG EAST Championship game to third-seeded West Virginia, 60-58, in front of 19,375 fans at Madison Square Garden. Georgetown, seeking its BIG EAST record eighth tournament championship title, falls to 23-10 overall, while West Virginia improves to 27-6.
Georgetown trailed by five points, 52-47, with 5:33 to play after Joe Mazzulla made two free throws, but a layup from junior guard Austin Freeman (Mitchellville, Md./DeMatha) with 4:14 left and two free throws from sophomore center Greg Monroe (New Orleans, La./Helen Cox) with 3:27 left narrowed the gap to 52-51.
The Hoyas had a chance to take the lead with two minutes left, but baskets from Wright and Freeman were off the mark and free throws from Da'Sean Butler pushed the lead to 54-51. Wright hit a pair of free throws with 1:37 left to make it 54-53, but West Virginia hit a pair of free throws with 1:06 left to push the lead back to 56-53. Wright then found Freeman on the right side and he sank a three-pointer, tying the game with 51 seconds left.
West Virginia then took a 58-56 lead on free throws from Mazzulla with 27 seconds left, but Wright tied the game again on a spinning layup with 17 seconds left. Butler followed with a jumper in the lane to give the Mountaineers a 60-58 lead and Wright raced up the court, but his shot was off the mark as the buzzer sounded.
The Hoyas had trailed by four points at the half (32-28) and WVU opened up an eight-point lead (36-28) on a dunk from Butler, but the Hoyas whittled the lead back to four points, 38-34, after a Monroe dunk and free throws from Wright. WVU responded with five-straight points and a three-pointer from Casey Mitchell gave WVU its biggest lead to that point, 43-34, with 12:20 left in the game.
Georgetown responded with a 7-0 run over 1:15 and cut the lead to 43-41. A three-pointer from freshman guard Hollis Thompson (Los Angeles, Calif./Loyola) started it, Wright made an acrobatic leap to save the ball from going out of bounds and fed Freeman for a layup and Monroe had the assist on a fast-break layup to Wright.
Like they did against Marquette in the semifinals, the Hoyas got off to a quick start with a jumper from Wright and a drive from Clark putting GU ahead 4-0. A pair of baskets from Monroe - sandwiched around a free throw from Kevin Jones - pushed the Hoya lead to 8-1 5:30 into the game.
Georgetown held the Mountaineers without a field goal for the first 6:01 of the game, a three-pointer from Jones making it 8-4. Free throws from Wright and a Freeman backdoor layup gave the Hoyas a 12-6 lead, but WVU would use an 11-1 run over 3:10 to take a 17-13 lead on a basket from Wellington Smith.
A drive from Freeman cut the lead to 17-15 and was the first field goal for the Hoyas in 4:44. A basket from Smith gave WVU a 21-15 lead, but junior forward Julian Vaughn (Vienna, Va./Oak Hill Academy) put back a missed shot and Thompson connected on a three-pointer as the Hoyas pulled to within one, 21-20, with 4:46 left. West Virginia responded with a 9-2 spurt over 2:14 and took a 30-22 lead on a basket from Devin Ebanks.
Consecutive conventional three-point plays from Wright - including a thunderous one-handed dunk - got Georgetown to within 30-28 before a halftime score of 32-28.
Wright scored 20 points, connecting on all eight free throw attempts, with seven assists and three rebounds to lead Georgetown, while Freeman added 14 points and Monroe finished with 11 points, six rebounds and three assists. The Hoyas shot 42.6 percent from the floor (20-of-47), hit 25.0 percent of their three-pointers (4-of-16) and were 14-of-16 from the free throw line (87.5%). WVU owned a 38-24 advantage on the boards and the Hoyas had 11 assists and only six turnovers.
Georgetown now awaits the NCAA Tournament selections, which will be announced on Sunday, March 14 at 6 p.m.