Feb. 17, 2007
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -Jeff Green devotes a part of each practice to his mid-range jumper. Jessie Sapp always ends practice by shooting a bunch of half-court shots.
All that extra work paid off for both with a pair of huge shots that kept No. 14 Georgetown's win streak alive and kept the Hoyas in the race for a Big East title.
Green scored 19 points and hit the game-winner with 19.8 seconds left to lift Georgetown to a 58-55 victory over Villanova on Saturday, the Hoyas' ninth straight win.
"I just wanted the ball," Green said. "I was in one of those zones where I felt like I was very confident in my shot."
He had a career-high eight blocks, sealed the win with two free throws in the final seconds and helped the Hoyas (20-5, 10-2) move into a tie with Pittsburgh for the Big East lead.
Green said he pattered his mid-range jumper after Detroit Pistons star Richard Hamilton, and the Hoyas are glad he did. He pump-faked a charging Mike Nardi, and calmly hit the open look to give Georgetown its first nine-game winning streak since the 2003-04 season.
"I work on those pull-ups every day after practice so it came natural to me," he said. "It's part of the game that's lost in the game. Not everybody can make a 3, so you've got to have that."
Sapp scored 16 points and hit a running half-court shot at the buzzer to put an exclamation point on the first half and pull the Hoyas within two.
"I'm glad I made it," Sapp said.
Reynolds, who scored 13 for Villanova in the first half, made his fourth 3-pointer from the top of the arc that made it 55-51. Will Sheridan had a clutch block on an ineffective and foul-plagued Roy Hibbert, that kept Villanova's lead at 55-53 with 2 minutes left.
DaJuan Summers made seven straight free throws, but missed the second of two that made it 55-54. Summers had 11 points.
Reynolds missed a tough 3-pointer at the buzzer that ended Villanova's four-game winning streak.
"I thought it had a chance. I kind of slipped a little bit on my jump stop," Reynolds said. "I thought it had a chance to go in, but unfortunately it went left."
The style of game was almost identical to Villanova's 56-52 win at Georgetown on Jan. 8.
The 7-foot-2 Hibbert again struggled against the Wildcats. Hibbert, the Hoyas' leading scorer at 13.4 points, picked up two quick fouls, didn't take a shot and scored only one point in the first half. He finished with four points.
In their first game, Hibbert didn't attempt a field goal and scored only two points. He had scored at least 20 points in three of the past four games for the Hoyas.
The Wildcats ended the first half in a rut, but Shane Clark made a pair of 3s and Reynolds scored on a steal and fast-break layup to make it 37-29.
The Hoyas followed with a 10-2 run that tied the score and Sapp's 3-pointer put them up for the first time, 42-40. Hibbert followed with his first basket, but then picked up his fourth foul, extending his troubles in a game where the Hoyas didn't do enough to get him involved.
From there, it was a typical grinding game for the Hoyas while the Wildcats went scoreless in the final 3:34.
"We're in the process of growing up," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said.
Reynolds, who wanted to go to Georgetown, made the Hoyas wish they could have had one more available scholarship at the time. He scored 16 points against them in early January, then had quite a run midway through the first half that spurred the Wildcats to a double-digit lead.
He hit a 3, then drove the lane and made a quick pass to Dante Cunningham underneath for a reverse layup. On Georgetown's next possession, Reynolds tipped an entry pass that forced a turnover, came down and hit another 3-pointer giving him 11 points and Villanova a 21-11 lead.
Sapp's amazing shot at the buzzer capped a 9-0 run and pulled the Hoyas to 29-27. Actually, Thompson got on Sapp for trying so many of those long shots after a recent practice.
"I told him, 'hey, buddy. Why don't you work on your normal shot that you get every day? You're not going to get that shot,"' said Thompson, laughing. "I don't know everything."