Billy Garrett Jr., DePaul oust Georgetown from Big East Tournament
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Seven Big East Tournament titles -- the most by any school still in the once-mighty conference -- and a couple of bucks could only buy Georgetown a figurative cup of coffee in this year's event. No guarantee of staying around past Wednesday night's first-round match against a weary DePaul team.
Sure enough, the champions of yesteryear were promptly eliminated, 60-56, and it is DePaul (12-20) that will face second-seeded Creighton (from that Eastern metropolis of Omaha, Neb.) Thursday night.
Consecutive three-point baskets by junior Forrest Robinson and a spinning bucket at the shot-clock buzzer by freshman Billy Garrett Jr. turned a tie at 45 into a suddenly comfortable 53-45 DePaul lead -- its largest of the game -- with just 4:08 left.
Georgetown (17-13) crept back to within 58-56 on junior Jabril Trawick's layup with 6.8 seconds to go. But Garrett, who ran his team with poise and finished with a team-high 17 points, made the fourth of four free-throw attempts in the final 22 seconds with 5.6 left to seal the victory.
Robinson had 14 and senior Brandon Young had 13 for DePaul. Georgetown's scoring was led by sophomore D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera with 21 and senior Markel Starks with 17.
So, along the potholed road of postseason play, with DePaul and Georgetown trading the lead through most of the second half, form again was mangled a bit.
Since early February, DePaul has been without its leading scorer, senior Cleveland Melvin, the 2011 conference rookie of the year who, the school announced without explanation, no longer was enrolled at the university.
That was in the early stages of a 10-game losing streak and a 1-12 finish to the regular season. But Georgetown, too, had its disappointments down the stretch, losing four of its last six games. Make that five of seven.