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March 17, 2007

Inside game carries Georgetown over B.C.

Box score

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - In the heart of Atlantic Coast Conference country, Georgetown and Boston College got together for some old-fashioned, bruising Big East basketball.

With 7-foot-2 Roy Hibbert and Jeff Green clogging the middle, the Hoyas took another step toward their return to the top of college basketball at the expense of a former conference rival, beating the Eagles 62-55 on Saturday in the East Regional.

With most the North Carolina crowd rooting for the Eagles, who bolted the Big East for the ACC two years ago, the Hoyas pulled away late by dominating the inside.

Hibbert scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half and added 12 rebounds, and leading scorer Green overcame a poor shooting night to convert two three-point plays in the final two minutes as coach John Thompson III and the Hoyas (28-6) advanced to the round of 16 for the second straight year.

Second-seeded Georgetown, which had missed the tournament for four straight years until last season, will play the Washington State-Vanderbilt winner on Friday at East Rutherford, N.J.

Tyrese Rice scored 22 points and Jared Dudley added 19 points and eight rebounds for the seventh-seeded Eagles (21-12), who blew an eight-point lead and were eliminated from the NCAA tournament by a Big East school for the second straight year.

Boston College, which had a messy divorce with its former league, led by four at halftime and opened up a 39-31 lead early in the second half behind Dudley, the Eagles' emotional, talkative senior leader.

But the undersized Eagles started to wear down as it became apparent they missed 6-foot-10 center Sean Williams, who was kicked off the team in January. The Eagles, who frustrated the Hoyas early with their zone, couldn't prevent Hibbert and Green from getting free late.

Hibbert's two free throws completed a 10-0 run to give the Hoyas the lead. After Rice hit a 3 and two free throws to get the Eagles within one, Sapp hit a layup and Green's three-point play with 1:26 left put Georgetown ahead 59-53.

Green had another three-point play off a reverse dunk in the final minute and Georgetown advanced to the round of 16 for the 11th time in school history.

But they had to work for it. Georgetown, which came in second in the nation in field goal percentage at nearly 51 percent, shot only 38 percent. Green, the Big East player of the year, shot 4-for-12, but had 11 points and 12 rebounds. Jonathan Wallace added 15 points for the Hoyas, who have won six straight and 17 of 18.

The Eagles, who had lost five of seven before a first-round win over Texas Tech on Saturday, made only nine of 29 shots in the second half.

BC, eliminated in the regional semifinals by Villanova last season, couldn't extend Dudley's stellar career. The ACC player of the year played all 40 minutes and became the school's all-time NCAA tournament scoring leader with 150 points, 13 more than John Bagley's old record.

Senior Sean Marshall struggled in his final game, scoring nine points on 4-for-15 shooting.

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