With seven seconds left in regulation, the Hoyas, holding a 48-40 lead, gained possession of the ball and Head Coach John Thompson III immediately signaled for a timeout, substituting sophomore guard Austin Freeman into the game. The outcome of the contest was not in question – Georgetown (16-13, 7-11 Big East) would not give DePaul (8-23, 0-18) its first Big East win of the season – Thompson just wanted to make sure senior guard Jessie Sapp got his due.

As Sapp checked out of the game and walked towards the bench, the crowd of 12,338 at Verizon Center rose to its feet and gave him an ovation. And for possibly the final time in his storied career the senior from Harlem left the Verizon Center court victoriously.

“For four years he’s been an integral part of the fabric of our team,” Thompson said of Sapp after the game. “That’s not just on the thirty-some odd times you see him on the court. That’s the other 330 days of the year when he’s on campus and back in the dorms.”

While the game may have been securely in Georgetown’s favor when Thompson called that timeout with seven seconds left, it was in doubt for much of the evening.

Coming off of a devastating overtime loss at St. John’s on Tuesday night, the Hoyas opened up a 12-2 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game, but they simply could not put the Blue Demons away. A combination of lackadaisical play – the Hoyas had eight of their 16 turnovers in the first half – and horrid shooting kept the Blue Demons in the game, and saw Georgetown enter the intermission with a 24-15 lead.

Sapp, who may have gotten the fans’ attention throughout the game, came of the bench for the seventh time this and sixth time in the last seven games. Thompson said he did consider starting Sapp in his last home game.

“Obviously it’s senior night and I thought about it, but we decided to stick with what we do,” Thompson said.

DePaul’s 2-3 zone caused problems for Georgetown, who settled for three point shots which were not falling. In fact, of Georgetown’s 43 field goal attempts, nearly half (20) were from beyond the arc. And while the Blue Demons shot just 28.8 percent from the field in the game, the Hoyas only made four of their 20 treys.

“I did expect that [2-3] zone,” Thompson said. “To tell you the truth, I was hoping I expected wrong, but I expected them to come out and play that zone.”

The zone continued to cause the Hoyas problems to begin the second half. After a layup by junior forward DaJuan Summers gave Georgetown a 31-26 lead, the Hoyas went scoreless for the next 3:50 in a scene that vaguely resembled the final ten minutes against St. John’s.

But with the score 34-31, Summers took over. On a day when no other Hoya reached double digits, Summers scored eight of Georgetown’s last 14 points.

It started with a layup to increase the lead to five with 7:06 left to play. 50 seconds later he hit a baseline jumper to put the Hoyas up 38-31. After a layup by sophomore guard Chris Wright (six points) Summers threw down a dunk with 3:47 remaining to put Georgetown up 42-31 and secure the victory.

Needless to say, Thompson was pleased with his junior forward’s 15-point performance.

“He got two big offensive rebounds, he caused a travel out there [at midcourt], he made some hustle plays which helped get him going and which we needed,” he said.

The Hoyas made 6-of-10 free throws in the final two minutes, and 10-of-16 for the game, to ice the victory, just their fourth in their last 14 games.

Afterwards Sapp, who scored seven points and had two steals, talked about leaving the court to an ovation from the fans.

“I felt appreciated,” he said. “They noticed the things little that I’ve done. I was never no big time scorer or none of that, but they appreciate me for the things that I’ve done for the program and the small things. That’s why I was proud to be out there today.”

Now the Hoyas focus their attention on the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden. The Hoyas will face St. John’s on Tuesday, exactly a week to the day and on the same court where the Hoyas blew a 15-point second-half lead en route to an overtime loss.

“We’re finished with part one of the season,” Thompson said. “Next week we go to part two of the season, and we’re going to go to New York excited and ready to play.”

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