NEW YORK -- Georgetown center Alonzo Mourning scored 28 points and sparked the decisive run early in the second half as the Hoyas recovered from a slow start to defeat Miami, 77-64, in a Big East tournament quarterfinal game.
The second-seeded Hoyas (20-8) advanced to today's semifinals against the winner of last night's game between No. 3 St. John's and No. 6 Connecticut. It marks the 11th time in 13 Big East tournaments that Georgetown has advanced to at least the semifinals.
After trailing at the half against the league's worst team, 34-33, the Hoyas took control at the outset of the second half by going to Mourning. The 6-foot-10 center scored seven of Georgetown's first 10 second-half points as the Hoyas took a 43-38 lead.
Miami (8-24), bothered by Georgetown's defensive pressure early in the second half, was able to cut the deficit to 45-42 after Anthony Lawrence hit two free throws with 14:50 left. But Georgetown responded with a 12-5 run -- which included three-pointers from Robert Churchwell and Irvin Church, to take a 57-47 lead and control of the game.
When Mourning wasn't scoring (he had a game-high 28), he was drawing fouls from the Miami big men. The Hurricanes' 7-foot-3 center Constantin Popa fouled out, and Lawrence had five.
Inspired by Thursday's 83-71 surprise win over Pittsburgh -- the school's first-ever postseason basketball victory -- Miami took it right to the Hoyas early, scoring mostly on short jumpers and layups in taking a 12-7 lead five minutes into the game.
The Hurricanes had their biggest lead after a jumper by Trevor Burton made it 18-12, and maintained the advantage until the final minute of the half when a hook shot by Mourning with 28 seconds left gave the Hoyas a 33-32 lead -- Georgetown's first since the opening minutes.
Miami guard Jerome Scott hit two free throws with 6.5 seconds left that gave Miami a 34-33 halftime advantage. Three players scored in double figures in the first half for Miami, a team that had just one player averaging in double figures this season. The Hurricanes shot 45.5 percent from the field in the first half, against a team whose defensive field-goal percentage (36.8 percent) led the nation.
Mourning scored 13 in the half and was the only player in double figures for Georgetown, which shot 44.8 percent from the field. Although the Hoyas held a 20-12 rebounding advantage in the half, their high-pressure defense was able to force just six Miami turnovers.