The Hoyas had a poor-shooting second half (8-22, 36%) but were buttressed by their foul shooting (7-7 1st, 16-16 2nd). With 10:20 left, Georgetown was down 48-58. The Hoyas closed the gap over 5 minutes and went up 53-52.
It looked all over with 1:30 left, down 65-70, but the Qudus Wahab scored an old fashioned three-point-play and Dante Harris closed with 4 free-throws.
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The Hoyas were led by freshman guard Dante Harris, who knocked down the game-winning free throws and finished the game with 18 points (16 in the second half), 5 assists, and 0 turnovers. Despite fouling out in the final minute, sophomore center Qudus Wahab poured in 17 points and 6 rebounds to aid in the Georgetown win. Sophomore forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and senior forward Jermaine Samuels led Villanova with 26 points and 20 points respectively, but head coach Jay Wright’s squad missed their star senior Collin Gillespie, who is out with an MCL injury.
“5 assists, no turnovers. That’s huge. That’s huge,” said Ewing of Harris’ outstanding performance. “He’s growing up. He was put in a position where we didn’t think he would have to be. There was growing pains but he’s stepped up and been magnificent.”
The eighth-seeded Hoyas (11-12) will play fifth-seeded Seton Hall on Friday night. Georgetown last reached the Big East semifinals in 2015. The Hoyas have not won the tournament since 2007.
“We took another step — in my house, by the way. This is my house,” Ewing said in a postgame television interview. “It’s a great win. Huge win.” Before Ewing became a Hall of Fame center for the Knicks, his Georgetown teams in the mid-1980s were the beasts of the Big East. Villanova has taken over that role in recent years, winning the last three tournament titles and dominating the Hoyas in the process. Villanova had won four straight meetings and 13 of 15 against the Hoyas before Thursday.
“We played against the Cadillac, the Bentley, whatever you want to call them, of the Big East — the class of the Big East. And once upon a time that was us. But we took a huge step to be able to knock them off,” Ewing said.
As heard on @1067theFan, here's how the legendary voice of the Georgetown Hoyas, Rich Chvotkin (@HoyasWin) called the last few seconds of Georgetown's EPIC upset of Villanova. https://t.co/Kn76dtAi1I #HoyaSaxa— Nick Gazerro (#WelcomeHomePuka) (@nikgazcs) March 11, 2021
Facing compromised Villanova — tri-Big East Player of the Year Collin Gillespie is out for the season with a knee injury and Justin Moore was clearly not himself playing on a bad ankle — Georgetown took advantage. Freshman Dante Harris’ two free throws with 4.7 seconds left lifted the Hoyas (11-12), who trailed by 10 points midway through the second half. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had given Villanova (16-6) the lead with a free throw with 18.5 seconds to go.
On the final possession, Harris got a switch, and Ewing could be heard yelling, “Drive him!” Harris got into the lane and drew the foul on Robinson-Earl. Villanova called timeout. On the bench, Ewing, the Knicks great, told Harris it was no different from practice, when they run suicides and go to the line exhausted. The freshman capped his brilliant day at the charity stripe, finishing with 18 points, five assists and no turnovers in 37 minutes.
Patrick Ewing and Georgetown upset top-seeded Villanova in the Big East tourney— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 11, 2021
The Hoyas are headed to the semifinals for the first time since 2015. pic.twitter.com/kI7x0iebVs
The Wildcats held a 61-50 lead with 8 minutes, 53 seconds to play on a three-point basket by Justin Moore, who played 27 minutes despite being described earlier this week as doubtful by coach Jay Wright after suffering a sprained left ankle last Saturday at Providence. However, the Wildcats made just 2 of 8 shots from the floor the rest of the way and connected on just half of their eight free-throw attempts. A 13-1 run by the Hoyas enabled them to grab a 63-62 lead with 5:07 to play on Jahvon Blair’s three-pointer and the advantage changed hands four times after that.
"Is this Madison Square Garden? I'm going to have to call Mr. Dolan and say geez is my number in the rafters or what?" - Patrick Ewing— NBC4 Sports (@NBC4Sports) March 11, 2021
Note to MSG staff: Please be able to recognize Patrick Ewing. pic.twitter.com/nnEZ7cMehc
3-POINT SHOOTING WOES CONTINUE: Villanova’s late-season shooting slump continued, with the Wildcats going just 9-for-30 from 3, including a 3-for-19 first half. Although the Wildcats shot better in the second half (6-for-11) they still shot below 35 percent for a fourth straight game. The Wildcats shot 38 percent from 3 in their first 18 games but they’re just 21-for-101 in their last four for 21 percent, and 1-3 in those games...
GEORGETOWN DIDN’T MISS: Two areas ‘Nova struggled Georgetown excelled in. The Hoyas shot 41 percent from 3 - above their season average of 36 percent - and the Hoyas were perfect from the foul line at 23-for-23. According to Georgetown’s on-line media guide, it’s the most foul shots the Hoyas have ever attempted in a game without a miss. They were 18-for-18 against Missouri in a game in 2010.
Georgetown’s final three points were made free throws. The Hoyas used grit as well to take down the Wildcats in Madison Square Garden. They held a 37-35 lead at halftime, but the fight of the three-time defending champions turned the tide in the second half. Villanova went on an impressive run and controlled the pace of the first 10 minutes of the second half. The Wildcats led 58-48 with 10:20 left. But, Ewing’s feisty group didn’t let up. Georgetown responded with a 15-4 run over a span of 5:11 to take a 63-62 lead. The final five minutes were back and forth. But, when the Hoyas needed a bucket they attacked the Wildcats inside drawing fouls in the process.
“Down the stretch, we didn’t execute as well as we wanted to, and we came away with a lot of empty possessions,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said. The hero of the game for the Hoyas, Harris, led Georgetown with 18 points. “We just played together and kept fighting,” Harris said of the Hoyas’ late push. “I told my guys to never give up, and we just continue to play together.” Qudus Wahab was also dominant, scoring 17 points and grabbing 6 rebounds. Jamorko Pickett added 12 points, and Jahvon Blair had 14 points in the Hoya’s upset win. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl shined in the loss and paced Villanova with 26 points and six rebounds. “I think we did a great job playing hard out there tonight, and we just got to keep playing a full 40 minutes,” Robinson-Earl said.
The grit the Hoyas have continually shown time and time again this season was evident yet again today. Georgetown battled back from a double-digit deficit to stun #14 Villanova and advance to the conference semifinals for the first time since 2015.https://t.co/9x1Mcebxem— Thompson’s Towel (@ThompsonsTowel) March 11, 2021
Dante Harris watched intently as a game-tying free throw attempt danced upon the rim before looking to the roof of Madison Square Garden when it finally slipped through the basket. “It kind of scared me a little bit,” the Georgetown freshman said. “Just praise God it went in.” Then, with a bit less drama, he swished another with 4.7 seconds to play, sending the eighth-seeded Hoyas past top-seeded Villanova, 72-71, and into Friday’s Big East tournament semifinals against fifth-seeded Seton Hall.
Two quarterfinals in the books - let's recap the wins from @GeorgetownHoops and @SetonHallMBB on #BEShootaround!@John_Fanta is live from @TheGarden with highlights and reactions from the Pirates and Hoyas. https://t.co/iBv2afB7Vz— #BIGEASThoops (@BIGEASTMBB) March 11, 2021
The game was very competitive throughout. The Red Storm had trailed by nine points with 5:36 to play in the first half. But they spurred a run and got the lead, but would give it back to be down by one. Seton Hall took control and led by seven points with 9:48 remaining. But the Red Storm would regain the lead after a 9-0 run. The teams traded blows, and 40 minutes weren’t enough to decide this. St. John’s was perhaps gassed, as they could never gain a lead in the OT period.
The Pirates sent the Johnnies off the ship, pushing the lead to as many as the 8-point margin of victory. And five game minutes later, the Pirates celebrated victory. Sandro Mamukelashvili scored a game-high 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds too. Mamu was joined in double figures by Jared Rhoden (19) and Myles Cale (16). Rhoden also had a double-double, hauling in a prodigious 16 rebounds. No other Pirate scored more than seven points on the day.
Seton Hall senior Sandro Mamukelashvili had 20 points and 11 rebounds, fellow senior Myles Cale notched 16 points and eight rebounds, and junior Jared Rhoden added 19 points and 16 rebounds, while St. John’s young stars struggled. Julian Champagnie, the Big East’s leading scorer, shot just 7 of 21 from the field and didn’t score over the final 20:25 of the game. Alexander’s impact was minimal in a six-point performance. In what could be his final game, senior Rasheem Dunn had 15 points and three assists.
The Pirates (14-12) looked nothing like the team that ended the regular season losing four straight games. They played with poise, precision and intensity at both ends of the floor. Everything was difficult for St. John’s (16-11), which shot just 32 percent from the field and made only 6 of 25 3-point attempts. Ike Obiagu wreaked havoc in the paint, blocking seven shots, and added seven points and five rebounds.
Latest Kente Korner is up!@MTCwithMook joined as Georgetown beat top seeded Villanova to advance to the BET semis for the 1st time since 2015— Bobby Bancroft (@BobbyBancroft) March 11, 2021
Dante Harris was ONIONS as the Hoyas overcame a late 11-point deficit
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