Green Saves Hoyas

Notre Dame's fabulous freshman guard Tory Jackson had just tied a Big East Semifinal contest against No. 9 Georgetown up at 82 with a driving lay-up with 40 second remaining. The Hoyas called a timeout to set up a play. It was obvious that conference Player of the Year Jeff Green would get the ball in his hands and make a play. Luckily for Georgetown, he delivered.

Green's basket in the lane with 13 seconds to go put Georgetown up two and Russell Carter missed an open three-pointer to give the Hoyas a 84-82 victory over Notre Dame in an extremely well-played affair at Madison Square Garden. The Irish's win streak ends at six and they finish the regular season at 24-7. Notre Dame should be expecting a fifth or sixth seed when the bracket is announced on Selection Sunday.

Green was a monster all night. The junior forward showed why he was the league's top player this season. Green scored 30 points and grabbed 12 rebounds against the Irish on Friday but none were bigger than his bucket at the end. Georgetown came out a timeout and got the ball down low to their money player. He muscled Notre Dame's Luke Harangody into the middle of the lane and hit an off-balance shot plus a foul to make it 84-82. Green missed the free throw to give the Irish one last chance. That last chance ended up being Carter. The senior guard pump faked a Hoyas defender in the air and got a wide-open look at the possible winning three-pointer. But Carter missed the shot and Georgetown grabbed the rebound as the buzzer sounded.

The Hoyas appeared to be in control of the game late. Notre Dame was up 69-67 after Carter drained a basket. But Georgetown went on a 9-0 run to take a 76-69 lead with five minutes remaining. The unstoppable Green scored seven of the points. At this point, the Irish could have folded the tent. But a freshman wouldn't let them.

That player was Jackson. The Notre Dame point guard was fantastic on Friday, scoring 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field. Jackson was at his best during this critical stretch. He went on his own personal 7-0 run to tie the contest back up at 76. The Hoyas defense had no answer for Jackson when he drove in the lane and created scoring opportunities. To show his worth again, Jackson's acrobatic lay-up with 39 seconds remaining tied the game up at 82-all to set up Green's final heroics.

Georgetown played catch up for most of the first half because of some early hot shooting by Notre Dame. The Irish were on fire before halftime, hitting everything in sight. Whether it was Carter torching the nets or Colin Falls draining three-pointers at will, Notre Dame could do no wrong on the offensive end. The 46 points scored before intermission were two less than they achieved all game in an earlier season loss to the Hoyas. The Irish's biggest lead was at 35-21 when Carter hit back-to-back shots from behind the arc. Carter ended the game with 21 points on 7-of-22 shooting. Falls added 14 points.


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