Georgetown upsets Big East top-seeded Villanova at MSG


NEW YORK AP Dante Harris made two free throws with 4. 7 seconds left to cap a perfect game from the line for Georgetown, and the Hoyas upset No. 14 Villanova 72-71 on Thursday to reach the Big East Tournament semifinals. . . The eighth-seeded Hoyas 11-12 will play the winner of St. Johns-Seton Hall on Friday night at Madison Square Garden. Georgetown is in the conference semifinals for the first time since 2015. . . We took another step in my house, by the way. This is my house, coach Patrick Ewing, the former New York Knicks star, said in a postgame television interview. Its a great win. Huge win. 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. . . Harris led the way with 18 points and drew a foul on on Jeremiah Robinson-Earl driving to the basket with 4. 7 seconds left and the Hoyas down one. . . Harris rattled in the first and swished the second to make Georgetown 23 of 23 from the line, the first time a team has shot 100% on at least 20 attempts in the Big East Tournament. . . With no timeouts left, Caleb Daniels rushed up court and got off a long 3-pointer in traffic for Villanova, but it missed badly. The top-seeded Wildcats 16-6, playing without injured star Collin Gillespie, had won three straight Big East Tournament titles. . . Robinson-Earl led the Wildcats with 26 points and Jermaine Samuels added 20. . . Qusub Wahab scored 17 points for Georgetown, including a three-point play with 40 seconds left that tied it at 70. . . Villanova opened an 11-point lead with 8. 50 left in the second half and appeared ready to cruise to a sixth straight appearance in the Big East semifinals. . . But the Hoyas went on a 13-1 run and took a 63-62 lead with 5. 05 left when Jahvon Blair made a long 3 from up top. . . The Wildcats steadied themselves and went up 70-65 with 1. 29 left on consecutive 3s by Cole Swider and Robinson-Earl. . . Villanova couldnt hold it and the Hoyas tied it when Wahab was fouled by Swider and made the free throw. . . Robinson-Earl made one of two from the line to make it 71-70 with 18. 2 seconds left, and Ewing called a timeout to set up a play and put the ball in Harris hands. . . Last years Big East Tournament ended halfway through the noon quarterfinal, when the pandemic brought the college basketball season to a halt. . . The quarterfinal day at the Garden is often the best of the Big East Tournament. The marathon quadruple-header keeps MSG buzzing from noon to midnight. Not this year. . . With COVID-19 restrictions still in place, the Garden was mostly empty for an old-school Big East matchup between Wildcats and Hoyas. Ewings booming voice echoed through the rafters. Rebound! Rebound! he shouted after just about every Villanova shot went up. . . Each quarterfinal team was given 100 tickets to Thursdays games. There was maybe a few dozen in the stands for the noon tipoff. A Lets Go Nova! chant didnt last long or find many takers. . . BIG PICTURE. . Georgetown. The Hoyas, who are 7-4 after a COVID-19 pause, won a Big East Tournament game for the first time since 2016 and avoided a three-game sweep by Villanova. . . Villanova. Playing its second game without Gillespie knee, their senior point guard and co-conference player of the year, the Wildcats started Chris Arcidiacono whose big brother Ryan led the Wildcats to a national title in 2016 for the first time. . . The sophomore contributed three points, five rebounds and four assists. Villanova did have guard Justin Moore left ankle available after coach Jay Wright said earlier that it might take a miracle for the teams third-leading scorer to play in the Big East Tournament.

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