Georgetown center Roy Hibbert (55) blocks a shot by Northern Iowa guard Brooks McKowen (23) during the second half of an NCAA men's basketball tournament opening-round game Friday, March 17, 2006, in Dayton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman)
March 17, 2006
Dayton, Ohio -- The Georgetown University men's basketball team overcame a four-point halftime deficit to defeat No. 10 seed Northern Iowa, 54-49, this afternoon in front of a sellout crowd of 12,945 at the University of Dayton Arena. The Hoyas, the No. 7 seed in the Minneapolis region, advance to face No. 2 seed Ohio State on Sunday, March 19 at 4:50 pm.
Sophomore Roy Hibbert (Adelphi, Md./Georgetown Prep) dominated in the post, scoring a game-high 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting from the field and nine rebounds. Senior Ashanti Cook (Inglewood, Calif./Westchester) added 14 points, including the final six points of the game to seal the win over the final 20.5 seconds.
This was the seventh time this season that the Hoyas have held their opponent under 50 points, as Georgetown's second half defense allowed only 19 points and forced the Panthers into 6-for-24 (25%) shooting from the field and 2-for-12 (16.7%) from behind the arc.
Trailing 30-26 at the intermission, Hibbert scored the first four points of the second half to tie the game at 30. The two schools would match points, until a layup by Grant Stout with 14:28 would give Northern Iowa their final lead of the game at 34-32. After a fast break dunk by senior Brandon Bowman (Santa Monica, Calif./Westchester) tied the game, freshman Jessie Sapp (New York, N.Y./National Christian) drilled a three-pointer with 12:43 in the game to give the Hoyas their first lead since 12:35 were remaining in the opening stanza.
Northern Iowa would get within one with 9:16 remaining, but that would be as close as the Panthers would get. Cook began his torrid finish with a trey at 7:43 to end a more than four minute scoreless drought and put the Hoyas ahead 46-42. The streaky scoring continued, but Cook answered with a foul line jumper with just over five minutes left to give Georgetown their biggest lead of the game at 48-42.
John Little brought the Panthers within one possession (48-45) with 2:14 to go, drilling a three and ending a stretch in which UNI was held scoreless for 7:02 and without a field goal for 9:27. Hibbert continued his dominance down low, dropping in a layup on the next Hoya possession to get it back to a two-possession game.
Seven points in the final 21 seconds by Ben Jacobson would not be enough, as Cook drilled four free throws and capped the scoring off with a dunk to seal the Hoya victory.
Northern Iowa took a 30-26 lead into the half behind a career opening 20 minutes by Little who had 14 points, hitting all five of his shots from the field and all four that he attempted behind the arc.
A three-pointer from the corner by sophomore Jonathan Wallace (Harvest, Ala./Sparkman) gave the Hoyas their final lead of the half at 12-10 with 13:04 to show on the first half clock. The Panthers followed with seven unanswered points over the next two minutes, capped by a three by Little, to retake the lead. A basket in the lane by Hibbert broke the run at 11:06 to bring Georgetown within three.
However, less than two minutes later, another three by Little gave Northern Iowa their largest lead of the half at 24-17 with just over nine minutes remaining. A three by Sapp at 6:58 snapped a four minute field goal drought for the Hoyas, but UNI quickly answered on their next possession with Little's fourth trey of the half to widen the lead back to seven points for the Panthers.
Both teams would remain scoreless until sophomore Jeff Green (Hyattsville, Md./Northwestern) hit two free throws at 3:12. Hibbert followed a minute later with a layup in the lane to get the Hoyas back with three at 27-24. Ben Jacobson ended a five and a half minute scoreless drought for the Panthers with a three with 1:02, but on the next time down the court Hibbert put through a thunderous dunk on the sideline for what would be the 30-26 halftime score.
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