27-7, 12-4 Conf
26-6, 13-3 Conf

Hoyas claim their 1st Big East tourney title since 1989

NEW YORK -- John Thompson III heard his father yelling something at him from behind Georgetown's bench. He couldn't make out what he was saying, and it really didn't matter.

The Hoyas were about to become Big East champions.

"Oh boy," Thompson said with a smile. "That's another thing off my to-do list I can scratch off."

Roy Hibbert scored 14 of his 18 points in the ninth-ranked Hoyas' big first half and Georgetown cruised past Pittsburgh (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today, No. 13 AP) 65-42 on Saturday night to win the Big East tournament for a record seventh time.

"We won this tournament together and the regular season together," Hibbert said. "We did this for all the former Hoyas and ourselves, and especially Coach Thompson."

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

"We're a different team from the legacy from when his dad was coaching," said Jeff Green, selected as the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. "We just can't think about that. That's the past. We have to worry about what we have to take care of now."

Green scored 21 points for top-seeded Georgetown (26-6), which won the title for the first time since 1989, when Alonzo Mourning and Charles Smith led the way against Syracuse.

"I wanted to win it bad," Green said. "It's something we wanted, to work hard from Day 1 and we wanted to be No. 1 and to win the Big East championship to go along with that."

The Hoyas trailed just 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 the elder Thompson led Georgetown to six Big East titles from 1982-89, with Patrick Ewing leading the way for three of them.

"I feel grateful that I get to be a part of that, and that I get to wear 'Georgetown' across my chest," Hibbert said.

Sam Young scored 10 points for third-seeded Pittsburgh (27-7), which was in the championship game for the sixth time in seven years but has just one title in that span. Poor shooting did in the Panthers, who set a final record for fewest points by scoring a season low.

The Panthers finished 16-of-61 -- 26.2 percent -- from the field, and center Aaron Gray was the biggest culprit, going 1-of-13 and finishing with a season-low three points. Gray was working all night against Hibbert, who made his presence felt early and often for the Hoyas.

"They really beat us in every aspect of the game, and I can't say enough about how well they played," Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon said. "I wish we could've played better, but it just didn't seem to be our night."

Hibbert finished with 11 rebounds -- nine defensive -- and turned Gray into a non-factor.

"You get beat like this, it's not just one thing," Dixon said.

Thompson cleared his bench for the final 1 1/2 minutes, giving some little-used reserves a chance to play on the court at Madison Square Garden. As the clock ran down, Ewing turned and hugged his father and gave him a Big East championship cap, which the elder Ewing slipped on with that huge, familiar smile.

The pro-Georgetown crowd chanted "Six More Wins!" at the Hoyas, who'll find out Sunday if they get a No. 2 seed -- or perhaps even a No. 1 -- for the NCAA tournament.

"Now I can sit back and look and see where we stand," Thompson said. "Where we're seeded, I have confidence in the selection committee and where they put us."

Georgetown and Pittsburgh split two regular-season matchups, with each winning at home, but this one got out of hand in a hurry. After Pittsburgh's Levon Kendall made a 3-pointer to make it 13-11 with 9:04 remaining, Georgetown took control with its big run.

By the time Hibbert came down from his two-handed slam with 2:58 left in the half, the Hoyas were up 28-13 and cruising along.

"We are going to definitely have to put this behind us and look ahead," Panthers guard Antonio Graves said. "We have another tournament coming up, which is the most important tournament."

Georgetown led 32-17 at the half and shot a sparkling 55.6 percent (15-of-27), compared to Pittsburgh's 24.1 percent (7-of-29). Gray scored just one first-half point, was 0-for-9 from the field and missed several easy shots. Graves, who scored a career-high 23 points in the win against Louisville, was held without a point in the opening half and finished with six.

Pittsburgh, which was in the title game for the third time in Dixon's four years as coach, couldn't put together the type of 20-2 run that helped it beat Louisville on Friday night. The Panthers never got closer than 13 in the second half, leaving the Hoyas to prepare for their celebration.

"We still have some more work to do," Green said. "We're not on top yet. By the end of April, we can see if we're on top."