Hoyas take down Heels
Published 8:15 am Thursday, March 27, 2003
DAVID DROSCHAK, AP Sports Writer
CHAPEL HILL -- At this pace, Georgetown won't mind another road trip.
Playing their third straight game away from home in the NIT, the Hoyas knocked off North Carolina 79-74 Wednesday to advance to the semifinals in New York.
Star forward Mike Sweetney said the Hoyas knew from the start of the tourney they would be hitting the road.
That was good enough as Georgetown (18-14) will now play the winner of the Minnesota-Temple game, to be played Thursday night in Philadelphia. The Hoyas beat Tennessee and the Friars on the road in the first two rounds.
Drew Hall's 3-pointer with 58.2 seconds left broke a 70-70 tie and halted North Carolina's furious late rally. Georgetown then made six straight free throws over the final 16.6 seconds to seal it.
Gerald Riley scored 11 of his 22 points during a run midway through the second half to break open a tight game and help deny the Tar Heels (19-16) a 20-win season one year after going a program-worst 8-20.
Doherty said his team was unified in the season's final stages.
Sweetney was hounded all night by North Carolina's trapping defense, but one of the best players in the nation still managed 22 points and seven rebounds as Georgetown shot 52 percent.
The Tar Heels went up 48-40 with 15:42 left before a 22-4 run gave Georgetown a 62-52 lead with 8:23 left. Riley, who had just three points in the first half, hit a shot in the lane and two 3-pointers in a two-minute span during the spurt.
North Carolina then rode Rashad McCants over a 3 1/2-minute span late. The freshman scored 14 of his team's next 16 points as his shot in the lane with 2:03 remaining tied it.
But he couldn't complete the three-point play, and after each team missed on their next possession, Hall sank his 3-pointer from the right wing.
Riley and Sweetney combined to go 16-for-26 from the field.
North Carolina turned it over 18 times after a season-low eight in a win over Wyoming on Monday night, and was outscored 25-9 on points off turnovers.
McCants, who was 10-of-13, led the Tar Heels with 26 points, while Jawad Williams added 19.
North Carolina got off to another fast start, going 8-for-11 to go up by eight before stalling offensively in the final five minutes of the half after Georgetown went to a trapping zone.