Hibbert toys with UMBC as Hoyas dominate in win

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Roy Hibbert kept tipping a rebound off the rim and back to himself. None of Maryland-Baltimore County's undersized players could grab it from Georgetown's giant.

Not long after that, the Hoyas put the game well out of the Retrievers' reach, too.

"Coach wants me to go out and play aggressive, so I did my part -- try to get rebounds, and try to dominate as much as I can when I get the ball," Hibbert said. "Make good passes, and make good decisions, and I think I did that."

Hibbert went over and around smaller UMBC, finishing with 13 points to lead No. 2 seed Georgetown past No. 15 seed UMBC 66-47 Friday in the first round of the Midwest Regional.

"Roy is such a [force] down low, a lot of teams focus the defense around him," guard Jonathan Wallace said. "With him just doing his job, taking up space, allows us, us perimeter players, to really spot up and knock down shots."

Wallace added 13 points and Austin Freeman finished with 11 for the Hoyas (28-5).

Georgetown shot 51 percent, held UMBC to 32 percent shooting and kept the Retrievers scoreless for a 7-minute stretch of the first half. The Hoyas held leading scorer Ray Barbosa to six points -- nearly 11 below his average -- on 2-of-11 shooting.

Unlike fellow No. 2 seeds Tennessee and Duke, Georgetown had a relatively easy time throughout en route to its 18th win in its last 19 first-round games. Next up: No. 10 seed Davidson in the second round Sunday in a virtual home game for the Wildcats.

"Watching Davidson makes me feel worried," Hoyas coach John Thompson III said. "At this point, you just need to figure out how to get a win and move on."

Darryl Proctor scored 16 points and Brian Hodges added 11 for America East champion UMBC (24-9), which was playing the Hoyas for the first time in two decades despite the campuses only being separated by about 40 miles of a Baltimore-Washington corridor. The Retrievers had their first NCAA tournament appearance cut short by a Georgetown team in pursuit of its first back-to-back trips to the Final Four since 1984 and '85.

UMBC -- which didn't have a starter taller than 6-foot-9 -- had no answer for the 7-foot-2 Hibbert on either end of the floor.

"We had to give up something," UMBC coach Randy Monroe said. "Our defense scheme was to double the ball inside and make Hibbert pass the ball back out, and we were going to close out with high hands on the shooters and take our chances with that, with the shooters making shots."

It didn't work. Instead, Hibbert altered shots, drew double teams and kicked the ball out for open looks on the perimeter while once again proving that there's plenty more to his game than just towering over tiny opponents.

"He's a good player, and give him credit -- they look for him. Even when he's not scoring the ball, he's passing out of double teams, getting other guys open with his size down there," UMBC forward Justin Fry said.

During one memorable sequence, he zipped past Cavell Johnson on his way to a reverse layup. Later, he kept tipping the rebound of Freeman's jumper near the rim and away from the Retrievers' outstretched arms before tapping the ball through the rim to push the lead to 15.

"They were running around in the post, but they've got to do whatever they can to stop the big man from getting the ball," Hibbert said. "I've seen that my whole life. I'm used to it."

Patrick Ewing Jr. added 10 points while occasionally playing center when Hibbert was out for the Hoyas, who let UMBC hang around for only about 10 minutes of this one before taking control with a 22-5 run late in the first half that overwhelmed the suddenly cold-shooting Retrievers.

The Big East's stingiest defense forced UMBC into eight straight misses -- including five 3s -- during its dry spell late in the half, and took a 14-point lead when Chris Wright's 3-pointer from the left corner made it 31-17 with about 3 minutes left before the break.

"Their defense at times dictated how we played," Johnson said. "They definitely got us in a stagnant period, and capitalized on the other end."

Barbosa finally snapped the drought with a 3 at about the 1-minute mark, but Wright drained a 3 from the left corner that beat the halftime buzzer, made it 34-22 and pushed the lead into double figures to stay.

"The beginning of the game is always going to be tough. You're trying to find out who they are and they're trying to find out who we are," Georgetown guard Jessie Sapp said. "But once we got used to everything, we grounded it out and we started expanding the lead."