for this game

Georgetown wins Big East title

Mar 9, 2008 - 12:14 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- DaJuan Summers made sure that Louisville did not pull off its second straight come-from-behind win over Georgetown.

Summers hit a 3-pointer with 40 seconds remaining as the 10th-ranked Hoyas held off No. 13 Louisville, 55-52, on Saturday to clinch the Big East regular-season championship.

Georgetown (25-4, 15-3) snapped Louisville's nine-game winning streak and claimed the top seed for next week's conference tournament.

The Hoyas, who claimed back-to-back Big East regular-season titles for the first time, take a five-game winning streak into the conference tournament.

"I feel good about the group that we have," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. " I'm just happy for our guys. I don't know what it says about our program, but I've said this from the first day, it's a process and I still feel that way."

"I didn't know that we were the first Georgetown team to go back-to-back," Georgetown center Roy Hibbert added. "But we did it, we dug it out. They're a really good defensive team and a really good offensive team, so we had our hands full today."

On February 9, Louisville (24-7, 14-4) rallied from a 10-point deficit in the second half to defeat the Hoyas, 59-51.

On Saturday, the Cardinals overcame a 40-29 deficit to take a 51-50 lead on Terrence Williams' 3-pointer with 3:36 remaining.

But Summers snapped a 52-52 tie by making a tough fall-away jumper from the right wing as the shot clock was winding down.

"You get good players and you allow them to make good decisions," Thompson III said. "We came down in one particular set and then just moved the ball around.

"We actually wanted to get a shot for Jon (Wallace) and it wasn't there. He was unselfish as always, kicked it around and we ended up getting a wide open shot for DaJuan that he knocked down."

On Louisville's next possession, Jerry Smith missed a wide-open 3-pointer from the left corner with 21 seconds left.

After Jeremiah Rivers failed to convert the front end of a 1-and-1 for Georgetown, the Cardinals came up empty on two 3-pointers in the final seconds.

"I'm really proud of our team," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "This was a great season. Bitter pill to swallow when you lose but we had a chance to win a championship, didn't do it. We give credit to Georgetown because they earned it."

Freshman Austin Freeman paced Georgetown with 15 points and Williams led Louisville with 14.

For most of the first half, Louisville was unable to solve Georgetown' stifling defense which holds opponents to 36 perfect shooting, the best mark in Division I.

The Cardinals managing only nine points in the first 15 minutes and trailed, 24-19, at the intermission after the Hoyas ended the half with a 10-0 run.

Georgetown semeed on the verge of blowing open the game, building a 40-29 advantage on Freeman's 3-pointer with 14:54 remaining.

But Louisville's defense also caused problems as the Cardinals forced Georgetown into 17 turnovers - 14 on steals.

Louisville slowly fought its way back into the game and took its first lead since late in the first half of Williams' jumper.

But with a chance to extend their 51-50 lead, the Cardinals turned the ball over with 2:15 remaining.

Wallace - Georgetown's smallest player at 6-1 - got free to hit a fall-away jumper in the lane that put the Hoyas back ahead, 52-51, with 1:41 to play.

Louisville's Earl Clark made 1-of-2 from the line to tie the contest with 1:12 remaining.

The Hoyas did not give up a good look on the final possession as Clark missed an off-balanced jumper from the right wing with seven seconds.

Williams grabbed the offensive rebound, but Edgar Sosa's 25-footer hit off the front of the rim just before the buzzer sounded.

"This is the first part," Hibbert added. "We won this part and we have to move on to the Big East tournament."

Georgetown shot 65 percent (13-of-20) in the second half after shooting just 37.5 percent (9-of-24) in the opening half and held Louisville to just 4-of-18 from the arc.