March 15, 2007
Winston-Salem, N.C. - Sophomore guard Jessie Sapp (New York, N.Y./National Christian Academy) scored a career-high 20 points to lead three players in double figures and No. 2 seed Georgetown used an 11-0 run midway through the first half to pull away from No. 15 seed Belmont en route to an 80-55 win in the first round of the 2007 NCAA Tournament at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum Thursday afternoon.
The win, the fifth-straight and the 12th in the last 17 games for the Hoyas, improves the team's record to 27-6 overall, while Belmont concludes its season with a 23-10 record. Georgetown advances to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, where they will face No. 7 seed Boston College on Saturday, March 17.
The Hoyas led by 13 points in the first half after the first 20 minutes of play and, after a layup from Belmont's Andrew Preston cut the margin to 38-27, used an 8-0 run over 2:22, with junior forward Jeff Green (Hyattsville, Md./Northwestern) and junior center Roy Hibbert (Adelphi, Md./Georgetown Prep) scoring four points apiece. Hibbert's layup with 16:27 left to play gave the Hoyas a 46-27 lead.
The lead grew to 20 points, 49-29, on the fourth of Sapp's career-high four three-pointers, with 13:23 to play in the game. A conventional three-point play from junior Patrick Ewing, Jr. (Marietta, Ga./National Christian Academy) gave the Hoyas their biggest lead, 59-33, with 8:21 to play, and the team matched that on with 4:42 to play when freshman guard Jeremiah Rivers (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) hit a jumper.
Belmont jumped out to an early lead, with a three-pointer from Matthew Dotson (16:23) and a bank shot from Boomer Herndon (15:34) giving the upstart Bruins an 11-4 lead through the first five minutes of the game. The Hoyas, who were limited to one field goal in the first six-plus minutes of the game, responded, using an 11-0 run over a span of 4:08, tying the game at 11-all when Hibbert fed Green for a dunk. A putback from Hibbert followed by a drive from Sapp, who took a feed from the Hoyas' 7-2 center, increased Georgetown's lead to 15-11 with 9:39 to play.
One of two free throws from Belmont's Will Peeples ended the Bruins scoring drought at 6:09, but the Bruins went 8:01 without a field goal. Back-to-back three-pointers from Sapp and junior swingman Tyler Crawford (Stuarts Draft, Va./Frank Cox) gave the Hoyas a 21-12 lead. A three-pointer from Belmont's Justin Hare cut the GU lead to 21-15, but three-pointers on the team's next three possessions - two from Sapp and one from junior guard Jonathan Wallace (Harvest, Ala./Sparkman) - moved the lead into double-digits, 30-18. Shane Dansby and Dotson each hit baskets to cut the lead to seven points, 32-25, but a conventional three-point play from freshman forward DaJuan Summers (Baltimore, Md./McDonogh) and a three from Wallace gave the Hoyas a 38-25 lead at the break.
Sapp connected on 8-of-10 shots from the field, including 4-of-6 from outside the arc, and finished with 20 points, six rebounds and three steals. Hibbert recorded his eighth double-double of the season, scoring 10 points and grabbing a season-high 13 rebounds, while Green added 15 points and three boards.
Wallace finished with six points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Summers chipped in six points, four rebounds and two assists. Rivers scored three points off the bench and handed out a career-high seven assists for the Hoyas, while freshman Vernon Macklin (Portsmouth, Va./Hargrave Military Academy) added eight points and four rebounds. All but one player scored for the Hoyas, who had 21 points from the bench.
Georgetown shot 54.7 percent from the floor (29-of-53), including 43.8 percent from three-point land (7-of-16) and 75.0 percent from the free throw line (15-of-20).