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BIG EAST CONFERENCE MEN'S TOURNAMENT

It's just like old times for the Hoyas

March 11, 2007|From the Associated Press

NEW YORK — John Thompson was barking calls at his Georgetown players, a dominant big man was leading the way and, just like the old days, the Hoyas were on top of the Big East.

Roy Hibbert scored 14 of his 18 points during No. 9 Georgetown's big first half and the Hoyas cruised past No. 13 Pittsburgh, 65-42, to win the Big East tournament Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.

Jeff Green, the tournament's most outstanding player, scored 21 points for top-seeded Georgetown (26-6), which won its conference-record seventh title and first since 1989.

With John Thompson III now coaching Georgetown and Patrick Ewing Jr. one of his players -- and their famous fathers sitting a few rows behind them -- these Hoyas established their place in Big East history.

The Hoyas trailed only once -- on Mike Cook's layup to start the game -- and left no doubt as to how their first appearance in the finals since 1996 would turn out. They used a 15-2 run midway through the first half to open a big lead that grew in the second half.

The dominance was reminiscent of the days when John Thompson led Georgetown to six Big East titles from 1982 to 1989, with Patrick Ewing leading the way for three of them.

"We made it difficult to get shots," Thompson III said. "We were fortunate. They missed a lot of shots they normally make."

Third-seeded Pittsburgh (27-7) was in the championship game for the sixth time in seven years but has only one title during that time.

Poor shooting did in the Panthers, who set a final record for fewest points by scoring a season low. They never got closer than 13 in the second half.

The Panthers finished 16 for 61 -- 26.2% -- from the field, and star center Aaron Gray was the biggest culprit, shooting one for 13 and finishing with a season-low three points.

Gray was working all night against Hibbert, who finished with 11 rebounds -- nine defensive -- and prevented Gray from being a factor.

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