Georgetown-Marquette: Hoyas Blast into 13th Tourney Title Appearance

K. D. JamesCorrespondent IMarch 12, 2010

NEW YORK - MARCH 12:  Greg Monroe #10 of the Georgetown Hoyas reacts after a play late in the game against the Marquette Golden Eagles during the semifinal of the 2010 Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden on March 12, 2010 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)
Michael Heiman/Getty Images

Georgetown, who looked out of sorts a few weeks ago after losing a handful of games in the regular season, has made itself quite comfy in New York City, blowing out Marquette, 80-57, in the Big East tournament semifinals Friday.

Greg Monroe, Georgetown’s 6'11" center and most dynamic player, scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in a commanding game tonight, dishing out seven assists and blocking two shots as well.

In two, "did-you-see-that" moments, Monroe, a sophomore from New Orleans, Louisiana, revealed a plethora of skills by once hitting an accurate, all-net three-pointer on the left corner on offense, and then later by blocking a pivotal shot on defense during the second half.

The victory over the Golden Eagles sent the Hoyas to its third tournament title game in the last four years, and its 13th time overall.

Although No. 22 Georgetown has reached the tournament final almost as many times as the conference leader (Syracuse holds the record with 14 final appearances), Georgetown has won the most Big East tourney titles (seven).

Georgetown's guards again provided steady support, with Chris Wright and Jason Clark scoring 15 points each, while Austin Freeman, in his fourth game back since learning that he's a diabetic, chipped in 12 points on five-of-nine shooting, eight rebounds, and three assists.

The game remained close even after halftime (Georgetown led Marquette at the half, 37-34) until the Hoyas pulled away with a 14-1 run over the Golden Eagles with less than 10 minutes left in the second half. 

Marquette (22-11) inched closer and closer to take the lead away from the Georgetown (23-9) in the first half with a 15-5 run, thanks to players like Jimmy Butler, who led his team with 17 points.

The Golden Eagles won three consecutive games against the Hoyas over the past two seasons, but their effort was thwarted by a more determined team looking to capture its eighth title over the winner of the West Virginia-Notre Dame semifinal game Saturday night.

Marquette tried its best to give Georgetown a contest, but the former Conference USA school ran out of gas, as Butler, Maurice Acker (16 points), and Lazar Hayward (15 points) were unable to withstand Monroe and his bigger teammates at the end.

The 2010 Big East tournament final will be broadcast Saturday night at 9 P.M. Eastern on ESPN.