Ohio’s Long-Range Plan Shoots Down Georgetown
PROVIDENCE - An Ohio team that finished 7-9 in its own conference and hadn't won an NCAA tournament game since 1983 took down third seed Georgetown 97-83 Thursday in the Midwest Regional, outplaying the Hoyas in every phase.
The 14th seed Bobcats followed the lead No. 15 Robert Morris began earlier in the day against a Big East power when it pushed second seed Villanova to overtime before losing. Led by Indiana transfer Armon Bassett and Mid-American Conference freshman of the year D.J. Cooper, Ohio went one better, ending a seven-game tournament losing streak for MAC schools that stretched back to 2003.
Ohio buried 13 three-point shots, shooting 56.5(PERCENT) from behind the line. Bassett finished with 32 points and Cooper 23, combining to hit 10 of the bombs. The Bobcats grabbed eight offensive rebounds that they turned into 17 second-chance points.
"We kept telling ourselves to keep our poise," said Bassett, who had 116 points in four MAC tournament games as Ohio won the title as the ninth seed. "We had to make plays. We kept our feet on the ground and we pulled it out."
Georgetown (23-11) led 18-17 when D.J. Cooper drained a three-pointer to ignite a 19-6 surge that gave Ohio (22-14) an upper hand it never relinquished.
The lead grew to 15 before a Greg Monroe tip-in at the buzzer cut the deficit to 48-36 at the half. Monroe and Chris Wright combined for 26 of the Hoyas' points.
Another Bassett bombed help push the advantage to 63-44 with 13:11 as Cooper continued to find gaps through the Georgetown defense and then kick the ball out for open perimeter shots.
Georgetown pulled within eight, but Cooper drilled a three-pointer from the corner, drove the lane for a basket and sank two free throws to give Ohio an 88-75 lead with 2:35 remaining. The Hoyas never came closer than nine the rest of the way.
"We've got a lot of confidence in our offense," said Ohio coach John Groce. "I thought our perimeter shooting and our ability to dribble-drive the ball in the lane really complemented each other."
No. 14 seeds are now 18-100 in the tournament. Georgetown, which lost to a MAC team for the first time since 1975, was led by Chris Wright's 28 points while Monroe had 19.
"No matter what happened before, when you get on the floor you have to play," Monroe said. "They were better today. They stepped up tonight and we couldn't do anything to stop them."