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TOURNAMENT DUBS: Harris, Wahab Lead Georgetown Over Villanova in Quarterfinal Win, 72-71

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The Hoyas defended, sunk free-throws, and gutted out the BIG EAST Tournament win over the top-seeded ‘Nova

Big East Men’s Basketball Tournament - Georgetown v Villanova Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Your #8 seed Georgetown Hoyas were victorious over the #1 seed Villanova Wildcats in the quarterfinal round of the BIG EAST Tournament in a game that went down to the wire.

With 41 seconds left, Qudus Wahab hit a go-ahead and-one free-throw after being hacked on a dunk and freshman point guard Dante Harris capped a spectacular game with two free-throws to seal the game with 4 seconds left. The Hoyas didn’t miss a foul shot in the game.

Harris led the game with 18 points and 5 assists, with Wahab scoring 17 with 6 rebounds before fouling out. Jamorko Pickett added 12 points and 8 rebounds and Jahvon Blair had 14 points on 4-13 shooting (4-9 3PT) off the bench. Donald Carey scored 9 big points as Chudier Bile struggled with only 2 points and 3 rebounds before his fifth foul.

Press Release from GUHoyas

Harris’ Late Free Throws Lift #8 Georgetown over Top-Seeded Villanova 72-71

NEW YORK – Freshman Dante Harris hit a pair of free throws with 4.7 seconds remaining to lift the eighth-seeded Georgetown University men’s basketball team to an upset victory over top-seeded Villanova 72-71 on Thursday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Tournament Presented by Jeep at Madison Square Garden. With the win, the Hoyas improve to 11-12 on the season, while the Wildcats slip to 16-6.

ON THE RECORD

“He played 38 minutes, 37 minutes. He had 18 points. He hit two huge free throws, five assists, no turnovers. No turnovers, that’s huge. He’s growing up. He was put in a position where we didn’t think he was going to be - have to play, being our starter, and there was some growing pains - but he’s stepped up and he’s been playing magnificent for us.” - Head Coach Patrick Ewing on the play of Harris

“I think guys have stepped up, guys have embraced the challenge, and they’re doing everything that we needed to do. One step at a time. We took one step yesterday. We took another step today. And then hopefully tomorrow will be our third step to be able to play on Saturday.” - Ewing on the play of his team over the last few weeks

“We just played together, kept fighting. I told my guys to never give up and Coach always told us to keep fighting as well, so we just continued to play together and keep fighting and we can beat anybody.” - Dante Harris on the team’s composure late in the game

HOYA HIGHLIGHTS

Harris scored a team-high 18 points, pouring in 16 after halftime, and paced the offense with five assists while committing zero turnovers.

Qudus Wahab finished with 17 points, including a 7-of-7 showing from the free throw line.

Jahvon Blair scored 14 points off the bench, draining four 3-pointers, and Jamorko Pickett was also in double figures with 12 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.

The Hoyas were a perfect 23-of-23 from the free throw line for the game, setting a BIG EAST Tournament record.

Georgetown outrebounded Villanova 37-30 and outscored the Wildcats 12-4 in second-chance points.

HOW IT HAPPENED

After Villanova scored the first nine points of the contest, the Hoyas stormed back with 11 unanswered to take the lead. Carey led the charge with six points, including a four-point play, and Wahab had five.

Consecutive 3-pointers from Blair gave GU a 19-17 lead and, after the Wildcats went back ahead, eight quick points from Pickett kept GU close.

Another Blair trey, and a deep jumper from Harris gave the Hoyas a 37-35 lead at halftime as Georgetown ended the period on a 7-0 run and held Villanova scoreless over the final 3:43.

A streak of 10-straight points early in the second half gave the Wildcats a 47-39 lead, but five quick points from Pickett and Harris cut the GU deficit to three.

Trailing by 11, 61-50, the Hoyas embarked on a 15-1 run, sparked by 3-pointers from Carey, Harris and Blair, to take a 65-64 advantage. The GU defense held Villanova without a field goal for more than six minutes.

The Wildcats responded with back-to-back treys to go up 70-65, but a pair of Harris free throws and a Wahab three-point play knotted the score at 70 with 40 seconds remaining.

Villanova’s Jeremiah Robinson-Earl hit 1-of-2 from the free throw line with 19 seconds left to put GU down one, 71-70.

Out of a timeout, Harris drove the lane and drew the foul. Following a Villanova timeout, Harris rattled home the first shot and was perfect on the second. Villanova’s desperation shot at the buzzer was off as GU came away with the upset win.

OF NOTE

Blair connected on a 3-pointer in the 35th-consecutive game he has appeared in, and his four treys now give him 204 for his career which is third all-time at Georgetown, trailing only D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera (250) and Jonathan Wallace (240).

Pickett’s eight rebounds give him 607 for his career, moving him into 22nd place in the GU record books.

Georgetown’s perfect free throw percentage (23-for-23) set a new BIG EAST Tournament record, besting UConn’s 95.0 percent (19-20) set on March 9, 2000 against Seton Hall.

Friday will be the 23rd appearance in a BIG EAST Semifinal for the Blue & Gray. The Hoyas are 13-9 in the BIG EAST Semifinal game.

UP NEXT FOR THE HOYAS

The Hoyas advance to the BIG EAST Semifinals for the first time since 2015 and will play the winner of fourth-seeded St. John’s and No. 5 Seton Hall on Friday evening. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. and the game will be broadcast on FS1 with Gus Johnson handling the play-by-play and Jim Jackson providing analysis.