Wallace spares Hoyas by hiting two free throws with one-tenth of second left

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The score was tied. There was less than one second to play, and Georgetown's Jonathan Wallace was dribbling 70 feet from the basket when he heard the whistle.

He wondered what was up. After all, there's no way a referee would call a foul in that situation, right?

Guess again.

"At first I thought I stepped out of bounds," Wallace said, "because I was trying to make a play with the time running down. But I did kind of [feel a] nudge when I was trying to turn the corner."

"So," Wallace shrugged, "a call's a call."

And he's not about to raise a fuss over it. That "nudge" was a bump from Villanova's Corey Stokes, the 48th foul called in a frustrating, stop-and-start game. Wallace hit both free throws with one-tenth of a second on the clock to give the No. 8 Hoyas a 55-53 victory Monday night, their first home win over the Wildcats in more than a decade.

"Wallace was dribbling, and the ref called a foul," said Stokes, who became the game's fourth player to foul out on the play. "What are you going to do?"

Wallace scored 15 points for the Hoyas (20-3, 10-2 Big East), who have won seven of eight and bounced back from a loss at Louisville on Saturday. Georgetown won despite blowing a 12-point second-half lead and scoring only two field goals over the final eight minutes.

Scottie Reynolds scored 24 points to lead the Wildcats (14-9, 4-7), who have lost six of seven, and he tied the game with a running layup in traffic with 1:05 to play. After Georgetown's Austin Freeman missed a 3-pointer, the Wildcats set up a final shot.

There was no doubt the ball would be in Reynolds' hands. He drove baseline against Jeremiah Rivers, ran out of room and attempted a pass that Rivers deflected for a turnover.

"I felt like I really had to foul him for the refs to call it at the end," Rivers said. "The refs always let you play when the time's running down. I wasn't going to foul him anyway."

That theory didn't hold for long. Wallace came up with the loose ball and got the favorable call against Stokes.

"I can't complain about it," Villanova coach Jay Wright said, "because I didn't see it."

"I'm glad it went our way," was the simple observation from Georgetown coach John Thompson III.

Villanova outrebounded Georgetown 41-35 and committed 11 turnovers to the Hoyas' 18, and the Wildcats wouldn't have needed a last shot had it not been for a 1-for-21 stretch from the field over first 12 minutes of the second half.

Villanova shot 13 percent in the second half -- including 0-for-13 from 3-point range -- and 25 percent for the game. Corey Fisher went 1-for-16 for the game, and Reynolds was 1-for-6 after halftime.

The 1-for-21 drought allowed Georgetown to turn a 29-28 halftime deficit into a 46-34 lead, but it didn't last long. The Hoyas went into a funk of their own, scoring only one field goal over the next 6-plus minutes while the Wildcats kept making free throws.


ESPN Classic will air an INSTANT CLASSIC between Villanova and Georgetown TONIGHT (Tuesday) at 7 p.m. ET.

and Rutgers and Tennessee at 8:30 p.m. ET.

"Phew! Phew!" Thompson said. "Wins are hard to come by in this league, so to walk away with a win feels good."

Roy Hibbert added 13 points for Georgetown, and DaJuan Summers had 12. Wallace went 3-for-8 from 3-point range -- including a big 3 with 2:11 to play -- a modest improvement over his 9-for-38 3-point shooting slump over his previous nine games.

Georgetown's last home win over Villanova was a 78-67 victory on Jan. 27, 1997, when the Hoyas played at US Air Arena. Villanova had been 6-0 at the Verizon Center.

"We played good defense and they still found a way to win the game," Wright said. "That's what great teams do."