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Hoyas put a hurt on rival

Austin Freeman (15) and Georgetown defeat Syracuse after losing twice to the Orange during the regular season. Syracuse will await word on injured center Arinze Onuaku.

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Austin Freeman (15) and Georgetown defeat Syracuse after losing twice to the Orange during the regular season. Syracuse will await word on injured center Arinze Onuaku.

NEW YORK — Arinze Onuaku crashed to the floor and clutched his right knee, writhing in pain at Madison Square Garden.

Suddenly, top-seeded Syracuse had more to worry about than a loss in its Big East tournament opener.

Chris Wright scored 27 and No. 22 Georgetown sailed past the third-ranked Orange with a second-half surge that yielded a 91-84 victory in the quarter­finals Thursday.

Though still a strong candidate for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, Syracuse (28-4) sustained a potentially costly loss when its starting center was injured with 5:07 remaining.

Onuaku landed awkwardly after trying to block Greg Monroe's shot. He grabbed his knee immediately and was helped off the floor. The senior was expected to get an MRI exam.

Austin Freeman added 18 points for the No. 8 seed Hoyas (22-9), coming off their tournament-opening 69-49 win Wednesday against USF.

Monroe had 15 points, 10 rebounds and a team-high seven assists, dominating in the paint.

Georgetown rebounded from two losses to Syracuse this season and took a 7-6 edge in Big East tournament games between the longtime rivals.

"I thought our guys did a pretty good job — very good job, actually — of just trying to hunt and peck and make the right decisions against their zone," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said.

Syracuse normally rotates only seven players, so losing one could hinder its chances for a national title. No team that has lost its first game of its conference tournament has gone on to win the national championship.

No. 7 W. VA. 54, Cincinnati 51: Da'Sean Butler took an inbounds pass and banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the Mountaineers (25-6). With the score tied at 51, the Bearcats' Dion Dixon lost the ball along the sideline as he was pressured by Butler with 3.1 seconds remaining to give West Virginia the final shot. West Virginia, which has won six of its past seven, is in the semifinals for the third straight year.

Marquette 80, No. 10 Villanova 76: Lazar Hayward gave the Golden Eagles the lead with a 3-pointer with 1:51 left, then added the clinching free throws with 3.2 seconds to go.

Fifth-seeded Marquette (22-10) faces Georgetown today.

"It's very hard to win games when your opponent shoots 54 percent and outrebounds you by five," Marquette coach Buzz Williams said. "But our guys hung in there."

Corey Stokes had 22 points for Villanova (24-7), which has lost five of six. Guard Scottie Reynolds, a first-team All-Big East selection, was 4-of-10 for 10 points.

notre dame 50, no. 16 pitt 45: Luke Harangody came off the bench and hit three key free throws in the final two minutes as the Irish got their season-best sixth straight victory.

Harangody and Tory Jackson each had 12 points in a bruising, defensive struggle. Notre Dame (23-10) has consecutive wins in the tournament for the first time since joining the league for the 1995-96 season.

Pittsburgh (24-8) was knocked out in its conference tournament opener as the No. 2 seed for the second straight year.

Hoyas put a hurt on rival 03/11/10 [Last modified: Friday, March 12, 2010 12:23am]
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