Jessie Sapp and a record-setting shooting performance helped prove Georgetown can win even when Roy Hibbert doesn't produce.
The Hoyas hope their star center can rebound from his worst performance of the season when they meet West Virginia on Friday in the semifinals of the Big East tournament.The No. 9 Hoyas (26-4), the reigning Big East champions, set a school record and tied a conference mark with 17 3-pointers in an 82-63 quarterfinal win over Villanova on Thursday, improving to 13-0 as the tournament's top seed. They have won the conference title all four times as the top seed, including last season.Sapp keyed the victory over the Wildcats, going 6-for-9 from long range to finish with a career-high 23 points as Hibbert struggled with foul trouble. The senior, who leads the team with 13.1 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, played 14 minutes and missed both of his shots, while grabbing four boards before fouling out with 5:09 to play."Roy had a tough time getting started," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "The nature of our team is when any particular guy is struggling, not doing well, we have other people that can step up."Hibbert, a member of the All-Big East first team, will look to get untracked against West Virginia (24-9), a team he had 12 points and 10 rebounds against in a 58-57 win on Jan. 26 -- the only regular-season meeting between the teams.That contest was decided when Patrick Ewing Jr. blocked Da'Sean Butler's layup at the buzzer after Sapp put up 15 points in going 3-for-7 from beyond the arc.The Hoyas won the only tournament meeting with the Mountaineers on March 8, 2000.West Virginia, which won the 2007 NIT championship at Madison Square Garden, is looking to advance to its first conference title game since losing in 2005.The Mountaineers got a step closer Thursday, upsetting No. 15 Connecticut 78-72 in the quarterfinals after beating Providence 58-53 in the first round a day earlier.Their tournament run, which might be enough to assure West Virginia of an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament, has been spurred by Joe Alexander. The junior forward scored a career-high 34 points and pulled down seven rebounds against the Huskies after getting 22 and six, respectively, on Wednesday. He is averaging 29.8 points and 7.8 boards while shooting 52.6 percent in the last five games."I wanted him to do it the whole year. I couldn't get him to cooperate," said West Virginia coach Bob Huggins, who is in his first season with his alma mater. "He's slowed down. He's doing a much better job of reading the defense. He's such a hard matchup."Alexander, though, was limited to seven points and three rebounds in the last matchup with Georgetown.Butler is also contributing to the Mountaineers' run, shooting 14-for-23 (78.2 percent) in tallying 17 points and nine rebounds in each of the last two games. The sophomore had 12 points against the Hoyas on Jan. 26 before his attempted game-winner was swatted away.The winner of this game will play the winner of the game between No. 25 Marquette and Pittsburgh in the championship game Saturday.