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Xavier holds off Georgetown to reach Big East finals

Mar 14, 2015 - 6:40 AM New York, NY ( - Matt Stainbrook scored 20 points and Xavier nearly squandered a 21-point lead before holding off Georgetown 65-63 to advance to the Big East finals.

Remy Abell added 10 points for Xavier (21-12), which will meet top-seeded Villanova in Saturday's final.

Jabril Trawick paced the Hoyas (21-10) with 19 points, Isaac Copeland scored 15 and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera netted 11 in defeat.

Things got chippy after the under-8 timeout. Trawick drove to the basket and was fouled hard by James Farr. After the play, Trawick and Jalen Reynolds got tangled up, Trawick ended up on the ground and Reynolds was given a technical during the ensuing scrum.

The sequence re-energized the Hoyas, who trailed 53-33 at the time. Trawick split a pair of free throws, Smith-Rivera made both technical foul shots and Copeland hit a jumper to make it a five-point possession. Copeland scored nine points over the next four minutes, Trawick hit a triple and Georgetown was back within six, 54-48, with 4:10 to play.

"Once we started scoring, our defense got better," Georgetown head coach John Thompson III said.

Paul White's corner trey with 23 seconds left had Georgetown within two. Myles Davis split a pair of free throws moments later at the other end, and Smith- Rivera made it one with a layup at 14.7.

Xavier played the fouling game down the stretch and didn't give the Hoyas a chance to tie the game with a 3-pointer. Trawick made all four of his free throws in the final six seconds, but Davis made two in between. James Farr split his pair with 1.9 seconds left, and the buzzer sounded before Georgetown got off a full-court heave.

"This is obviously the best league, and we're looking forward to the championship tomorrow night," Xavier head coach Chris Mack said.

Game Notes

Xavier won all three meetings this season. It is the first time Georgetown lost three times to the same opponent since Connecticut in 2004-05 ... Xavier's bench outscored Georgetown, 21-8.