Led by a monster effort from senior forward Yancy Gates, the No. 4 seed Cincinnati Bearcats outlasted the fifth-seeded Georgetown Hoyas 72-70 in double overtime in a Big East Tournament quarterfinal matchup on Thursday.
It's been an infamously up-and-down season for Gates, who was suspended for five games earlier in the year for his role in Cincinnati's on-court brawl with rival Xavier. Thursday was likely the high point of Gates' year, as he scored a season- and game-high 23 points on 10-of-19 shooting.
Though Gates was the high scorer, it was point guard Cashmere Wright's running bank shot with less than eight seconds to play that proved to be the game-winner. Georgetown's Henry Sims missed a three-pointer at the buzzer on the other end of the floor. The missed shot brought a sour end to what was an otherwise tremendous afternoon for Sims, who finished with a team-best 22 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.
After squandering a late lead in regulation, Cincinnati appeared poised to win the game for a second time on overtime. The Bearcats led by three with 30 seconds to play before a Jason Clark layup cut the lead to one. After Dixon again converted just one of two free-throws, Sims narrowly beat the buzzer with a layup to extend the game by another five minutes.
Georgetown, ranked No. 13 in the latest Associated Press Top 25, was the only nationally ranked Big East team that didn't earn one of the four double-byes in the conference tournament. A loss by the Hoyas in their regular-season finale to the Marquette Golden Eagles allowed Cincinnati to move up and snatch the No. 4 seed.
The prize for the Bearcats is their first ever trip to the Big East Tournament semifinals, where the top-seeded Syracuse Orange waits. Tipoff for that game is scheduled for Friday night at 7 p.m. ET, with ESPN on the coverage.