Simsanity! Senior Center Leads Hoyas to Second Round in 64-52 Win Over Pittsburgh
WASHINGTON - Senior center Henry Sims (Baltimore, Md./Mount St. Joseph) recorded his second career double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds and led three players in double figures as No. 5 Georgetown used a solid defensive effort to beat No. 13 seed Pittsburgh, 64-52, in the second round of the BIG EAST Tournament on Wednesday afternoon.
The win improves Georgetown's record to 23-7 overall and advances the Hoyas to the tournament quarterfinals, where they will face No. 4 seed Cincinnati on Thursday, March 8 at 2 p.m. Pittsburgh falls to 17-16 overall.
Sims connected on 7-of-10 shots from the floor and 6-of-10 from the free throw line for 20 points and grabbed a career-best 13 rebounds to go with a team-best five assists. Freshman forward Otto Porter (Sikeston, Mo./Scott County Central) scored a career-high 20 points and had six rebounds, while freshman forward Greg Whittington (Columbia, Md./Oakland Mills) added 11 points and six rebounds.
The Blue & Gray held an eight-point lead at the break, but Pitt scored the first six points of the second half over the first 1:51 and cut the lead to 31-29 on a layup from Nasir Robinson. Back-to-back three-pointers, first from Whittington and then from Porter, pushed the Georgetown lead back to eight points, 37-29.
The lead was up to 10 points, 48-38, when Whittington assisted Porter on a jumper with 11:04 to play. A free throw from Tray Woodall cut the lead to 48-39, but Porter responded with another layup to make it 50-39 and the Hoyas never led by less than 10 points the rest of the way.
The Hoyas shot 50.0 percent from the floor in the second half (9-of-18) and hit 13-of-17 free throw attempts (76.5%) to seal the win.
Georgetown took an eight-point lead at the half, 31-23, using a 16-2 run over the final 6:25 of the half as Pitt did not hit a field goal in the final 4:09 of the opening frame. After Pitt led by six points, 21-15, on a layup from Nasir Robinson with 6:40 to play in the half, the Hoyas forced the Panthers to miss nine of their last 10 shots and held Pitt to 27.6 percent shooting from the floor for the half.
A free throw from Porter made it 21-16 and a three-pointer from Whittington cut the deficit to two points. After a layup from Dante Taylor made it 23-19, free throws from Clark started a 12-0 spurt over the final 4:09 of the half. Five different players scored during the run and the Hoyas hit six-of-six free throw attempts.
Wednesday's game against Pittsburgh will be the 76th all-time meeting between the programs. The Hoyas lead the head-to-head series, 40-35, and hold a 32-22 advantage since the start of BIG EAST play. The Panthers have won five of the last six meetings between the teams. Georgetown is 3-1 all-time against Pittsburgh in BIG EAST Tournament play.
Georgetown has a 3-2 all-time record in the BIG EAST Tournament as the No. 5 seed and has never played a team seeded No. 13. The last time the teams played during the BIG EAST Tournament was in the championship game in 2008. This will be the second meeting between the teams this season, with Pittsburgh posting a 72-60 win at home on Jan. 28.
The Hoyas connected on 48.7 percent of their shots from the field (19-of-39), hit 30.8 percent of their three-pointers (4-of-13) and were 22-of-31 from the free throw line (71.0%). GU held a 36-25 advantage on the boards, handed out 10 assists and committed 12 turnovers.