No. 22 Georgetown 68, Xavier 63
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) _ Allen Iverson has changed nearly everything about Georgetown basketball in his freshman season. Maybe he’ll change the Hoyas’ luck in the NCAA tournament, too.
Iverson and backup Eric Myles kept Georgetown from getting buried in the first half before the Hoyas’ size and depth wore down player-depleted Xavier in a 68-63 victory Friday in the NCAA Southeast regional.
Georgetown (20-9), which hasn’t advanced past the second round since 1989, will play surprising Weber State on Sunday for a trip to the regional finals next week in Birmingham. Weber State upset third-seeded Michigan State 79-72 earlier Friday.
Iverson, a free-wheeling freshman who forced coach John Thompson to scrap his traditional half-court offense, scored 16 points despite playing most of the second half in foul trouble. When he went out, Myles stepped in to hit four 3-pointers for 12 points _ he averages only 5.6 _ after Xavier opened a 28-21 first-half lead.
The Musketeers (23-5), who upset Georgetown in a 1990 NCAA game, played much of the first half on emotion after coach Skip Prosser refused to play seniors Pete Sears and DeWaun Rose, who were involved in a bar fight last week.
Sears and Rose both face charges in the case but have pleaded innocent.
Sears, who averages 12.9, had started all but one Xavier game and Rose, a grad student who left a public relations job to rejoin the Musketeers after Prosser was hired as coach, was usually the first man off the bench.
With Sears and Rose, the Musketeers were reduced to only eight scholarship players and, effectively, a two-man offense as Jeff Massey scored 21 points and Michael Hawkins had 20.
Xavier still took its best shot, going on a 10-2 run midway through the second half for a 57-all tie with 7:29 remaining. The Musketeers then scored only one more basket the rest of the game _ Larry Sykes’ layup with just under six minutes left.
Iverson hit two free throws with 7:18 remaining to make it 59-57, then found Jerome Williams inside for a layup before Othella Harrington, who scored 15, pushed the Hoyas’ lead to six points at 63-57 with a left-handed bank shot.
Xavier, which shot just 38.9 percent, had a chance to get back to within three with 42.6 seconds left, but Massey missed two free throws, Harrington rebounded and John Jacques hit two free throws.