for this game

Hibbert helps Georgetown narrowly avoid upset

Nov 22, 2007 - 3:42 AM MUNCIE, Indiana (Ticker) -- Roy Hibbert and fifth-ranked Georgetown survived a scare from Ball State.

Hibbert scored 16 points and Jessie Sapp added 11 as the Hoyas posted a 57-48 victory over the Cardinals on Wednesday.

Georgetown (3-0) blew open the game early, using a 17-5 run midway through the first half to seemingly take a commanding 29-14 advantage with 7:42 left. The Hoyas led at the break, 31-18.

However, it was a different story in the second half. The Cardinals hung around and trailed, 49-41, with 5:03 remaining thanks to a 17-9 spurt capped by a pair of free throws by Malik Perry.

"This is the first real game we've been in," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said.

"If we want to be a good team, we have to show significant improvement," Thompson said. "But it's good to have learning experiences and walk away with a win, as opposed to walking away from learning experiences in the past without a win."

The Hoyas shot just 47 percent from the free throw line (8-of-17), enabling the Cardinals to stay in the game.

"Free throws and turnovers hurt us," Thompson said. "We've got to take care of that. I don't think we were flustered, we just didn't execute the way we were supposed to."

Despite having a nine-inch height advantage over Ball State's tallest player, Hibbert posted his lowest point total of the season.

"My job is to keep working, and I felt like I did that tonight," Hibbert said. "At the beginning of the game, the guards were hitting shots and trying to get me the ball."

The 7-2 Hibbert, who shot 7-of-10 from the floor, stretched the lead to 10 with a jumper on the following possesion. But Ball State would not go away and pulled within six on a jumper by Peyton Stovall and two free throws from Melvin Goins with 1:57 left.

That was as close as the Cardinals came pulling off the upset, as DeJuan Summers nailed a pair of free throws to make it 53-45 with 32 seconds to play.

Stovall scored 16 points while Goins added 11 for Ball State (0-3), which shot just 33 percent (18-for-54) from the floor.

"This was the No. 5 team in the nation," Stovall said. "We expected to win and we had confidence. The young guys did a great job. I know we have heart. These guys have so much heart, and that's part of the reason I was smiling all night."

    --- --- -----
    GEORGETOWN (5) 31 26 57
    BALL ST 18 30 48 FINAL

    Nov 21 8:50 PM

    (5) GEORGETOWN 31

    Nov 21 7:54 PM