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Hibbert stands tall as Georgetown rolls

Mar 15, 2008 - 3:43 AM NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Georgetown could not expect to keep up its blistering outside shooting. Roy Hibbert made sure it was not necessary.

The 7-2 Hibbert dominated inside with a season-high 25 points and 13 rebounds to lead the ninth-ranked Hoyas to a 72-55 victory over West Virginia in the Big East Conference semifinals Friday night.

Georgetown (27-4) improved to 14-0 all-time as the tourney's No. 1 seed and moved into Saturday's championship game against Pittsburgh.

One day after going scoreless against Villanova, Hibbert finished 12-of-17 from the floor and helped the Hoyas to a 40-22 edge on the boards.

"I just came to the game to try to establish myself down low, not just try to score, but try to just set the tone and get deep positions," Hibbert said. "Try to pick the things that I did before in the year. I just kept working and getting shots in the area were I feel comfortable shooting."

The Hoyas, who have won seven conference championships, will be appearing in their 12th Big East title game.

A day after making a school-record 17 3-pointers in an 82-63 victory over Villanova, Georgetown went back to a more conventional formula against the ninth-seeded Mountaineers (24-10) - getting the ball inside to their big man.

"We come into every game with a game plan of going down to Roy," Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. "Yesterday he was in foul trouble and today he was getting the ball down low and making his shots."

Hibbert gave a sign of things to come, scoring 13 points and capping an 8-0 run to give the Hoyas a 24-14 lead with just over 6 1/2 minutes left in the first half.

"He is a really good player and he was expecting us to guard him really well. He made his shots and we just had a tough guarding him," Mountaineers coach Bob Huggins said of Hibbert. "We let him catch it to deep in the post and he made his shots."

A 3-pointer by DaJuan Summers pushed Georgetown's lead to 33-21 at the break.

West Virginia clawed back behind a flurry of 3-pointers from Alex Ruoff and Darris Nichols, who combined to hit 5-of-5 from the arc that closed the deficit to 49-45 with 12:15 to play.

The Hoyas then turned up the defense and held the Mountaineers without a field goal for nine minutes while reeling off a 16-0 run to take a commanding 67-47 lead with 3:40 to play.

Jessie Sapp scored six of his 13 points in the decisive run for Georgetown, which shot 53 percent (32-of-60).

"I felt I had the advantage and I chose to exploit what they were giving me, so today was a chance to, how do you say, sport that talent," Sapp said.

Da'Sean Butler had 16 points to lead West Virginia. Joe Alexander, who averaged 29.8 points in his previous six games, was limited to 12.

"I wasn't making my shots and they had guys coming from the weak side and giving me different looks," Alexander said. "I don't remember the defense they were giving me, but for every time I wanted to drive to the basket they brought extra help with one or two guys to guard me.

"They just played good defense tonight. I was off a little off and the defense kept changing on me."