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Green's late shot lifts Georgetown to Big East final

Mar 10, 2007 - 6:35 AM NEW YORK (Ticker) -- It only seemed appropriate that Jeff Green would have the ball in his hands when the game was on the line - and he showed his worth.

Green sank a go-ahead jump hook in the lane with 13 seconds left and finished with a career-high 30 points as ninth-ranked Georgetown captured an 84-82 victory over No. 16 Notre Dame in the semifinals of the Big East Conference tournament.

Crowned the league's player of the year on Tuesday, Green picked an opportune time to post his first double-double of the season, overcome some spotty shooting by converting 12-of-14 free throws and tying a career high with 12 rebounds.

"There is no doubt what he did today and the performance he put on today was special," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "We could have caved in but we hung in there and at the end of the game great players make plays and Jeff did that."

"This was one of those games that I was in the zone and the team was really good of finding me," Green said.

With 7-footer Roy Hibbert fouling out with 57 seconds left after trying to collect a defensive rebound, the Hoyas turned to the 6-9 Green with the score tied at 82-82 with less than 20 seconds remaining.

Although he finished 9-of-21 from the field, Green took a hit from Luke Harangody before watching his hook shot bounce around the rim before going down.

"Patrick (Ewing Jr.) found me in the block and I just turned around and shot it and got the lucky roll," Green said. "It was a lucky shot. I did want the ball at the end and I did tell coach."

Fouled on the play, the junior was unable to add to the lead on the ensuing free throw.

The miss did not prove costly as the Fighting Irish's Russell Carter missed a 3-point attempt from the left of the key with the clock winding down.

Beating Notre Dame for the second time this season, Georgetown (24-6) advanced into the championship game for the first time since 1996. It will face No. 11 Pittsburgh, which topped No. 15 Louisville, 65-59 in Friday's late game.

"In many ways its extremely rewarding," Thompson said. "To have the opportunity to play for the tournament championship is special."

The Hoyas have won all five previous appearances in the title game when seeded No. 1.

DaJuan Summers scored 18 points and Ewing added a career-high 15 off the bench for Georgetown, which shot 53 percent (31-of-59) to overcome a 39-34 deficit on the boards.

Ewing, who entered the contest averaging 3.9 points, took advantage of the extra playing time due to the foul issues of Hibbert. The 6-8 junior and son of former Hoya great Patrick Ewing shot 7-of-11 from the field while tying a career high in minutes with 28.

"It just felt right using Ewing," said Thompson of play him more in the second half than Hibbert. "We were playing well and we kept him in there."

The team's second-leading scorer and top rebounder, Hibbert was limited to six points and four rebounds in just 21 minutes.

Carter scored 21 points and freshman Tory Jackson added 20 - including the layup that knotted the score at 82-82 with 39 seconds left - for Notre Dame (24-7).

While Green posted a career-high scoring effort, Jackson nearly carried the Irish on his back down the stretch.

Moving into the starting lineup in for the first time on December 30 in the wake of Kyle McAlarney's suspension for drug charges, Jackson provided all the offense on a 7-0 run that knotted the score at 76-76 with 3:25 remaining.

"He was a big scorer in high school," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "Once we open the floor for him, he almost won the game for us. It was great watching him play to his potential."

Over a span of 2:19, the 5-10 guard completed a three-point play and later hit a pair of layups before Rob Kurz gave Notre Dame a 78-76 lead on a free throw with 2:52 left.

"That was amazing for those three minutes," Green said of Jackson's play. "We couldn't stop him."

Jonathan Wallace finally ended Jackson's run on a jumper with 2:44 to play and Hibbert added one of his own for a 80-78 edge 45 seconds later.

That advantage grew to 82-79 with 1:18 left after Summers converted a pair of free throws. Harangody, who finished with 11 points for the Irish, split free throws after Hibbert was called for his final foul moments later, making it 82-80.