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Georgetown Basketball: January 2001 News Archive

Syracuse 70, Georgetown 63 1/30/01

Every Georgetown-Syracuse game is a battle, but in recent years, the Carrier Dome always seems to spur the Orange to a late victory. And for the 10th time in 12 years, the homestanding Orangemen did just that, withstanding a late Georgetown run to win 70-63, sending the Hoyas to its third loss in four games, all in divisional play.

The Hoyas opened the game like a tired team, with little energy and poor shooting. Syracuse raced to an early 10 point lead and led by a comfortable 15 at the half. Preston Schumpert and Damone Brown combined for 29 of their team's 37 points, while the Hoyas had many more turnovers (15) than field goals (9).

By the second half, Georgetown's substitutions and defensive pressure began to wear the Orange down. Georgetown held the Orange scoreless for over six minutes, closing to five at 48-43 with 8:30 to play when Demetrius Hunter was slammed to the ground on a hard foul. Words were exchanged, but Big East official Tim Higgins overplayed his hand by throwing Wesley Wilson out of the game for what Higgins called "a shot to the ribs". The replay was, at best, inconclusive.

Even without Wilson, Georgetown got the lead back to five at 58-53 when the Orange then connected on a three pointer that should have put the game away. Instead, the Hoyas battled to within four at 64-60 with :48. to play, but no closer.

Georgetown will hear it in the local and national press after this one, given the resulting statistics. Starters Gerald Riley and Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje combined to go 0 for 10, and RBB saw no appreciable second half time as a result. Free throws could have closed the gap, but GU was 15 for 24 (62 percent) versus Syracuse's 23 for 29. (79 percent).

In the Hoyas four Big East wins, they averaged 32 attempts from the free throw line, making 19. In the three losses, an average of only 15 attempts and nine free throws. Think about it--ten more FT's in each of the last three games, and the Hoyas could be 7-0 in the conference. Instead, they're 4-3 and will battle West Virginia for third place in the division this Saturday.

Some links to post game coverage:

Notre Dame 78, Georgetown 71 1/27/01

It was like old times. No, not the record 18,853 at MCI Center or a great battle between two teams for much of the game. Sadly, it was a finish seen all too regularly in recent years: a Georgetown team that could not hold a lead and stumbled down the stretch at home. It was Notre Dame that played its game down the stretch, with a 78-71 win at MCI Center.

The two teams played even through much of the game, but Georgetown's Wesley Wilson impressed many by holding ND's All-American Troy Murphy to 16 points, down from his average of 23.5 ppg. The Hoyas held a 36-30 halftime lead and extended the lead to nine at 57-48 lead with a timeout at 7:53 to play. In the next 1:41, ND hit three consecutive three pointers, matched only by a Wilson field goal to hang on to a two point lead at 59-57. Then, when Wilson got Troy Murphy to foul out with 5:04 to play, things were again looking favorable for the Hoyas.

Then, the wheels fell off. In the next four minutes and ten seconds, the Hoyas missed on nine consecutive possessions--a variety of three pointers, close-in shots, and otherwise poor decisions, resorting to fouling ND to get the ball back. The Irish, who shot 19 for 23 from the line in the second half, gladly obliged, and built an eight point lead, almost all on free throws, until Mike Sweetney put in a field goal with 0:54 to play and the outcome beyond repair. Over the six minutes between the Wilson score at 7:53 and Sweetney's dunk at 0:54, the Hoyas were outscored 21-2.

For the second half, ND was 5 for 7 from three point range, all of which were at key points in the game. Georgetown's long range shooting (6 for 22, including 1 for 6 from Lee Scruggs) was of no help. And while Wilson's play continues to impress, senior Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje is in a slump. In the two Big East losses, RBB shot only 2 for 10.

The loss was damaging not only to the Hoyas' national standing, but its Big East divisional standing. To finish in the top two in the division (earning a first round bye and a more secure NCAA position, the Hoyas must finish above either ND or Syracuse, and now find themselves behind both, with a trip to hostile Syracuse Monday night.

Here are links to post-game coverage:

As stated above, an announced crowd of 18,853 is a record for a Georgetown game at MCI Center and is the largest attendance since March 2, 1996, when 19,035 sold out Capital Centre/US Air Arena in a 106-68 rout of Villanova. A good student turnout was in evidence Saturday, along with many of us out of town alumni in attendance.

However, the attendance record is a hollow one, especially in the composition of the crowd. When Mike Brey told the Post that "I thought at times it was a little bit of a neutral site", he was being kind. Other than the often vacant Miami Arena, MCI Center continues its reputation as the most visitor friendly arena in the conference. It speaks well that ND was able to bring as many as they did to the game, but where are more of the 30,000 local GU alumni in the Washington area?

In close games, Georgetown desperately needs a home court advantage and does not have one in this building.

2001 Recruit Not Eligible For Spring Season 1/25/01

An update on the Harvey Thomas front: Mid South Hoops.com reports that Thomas has been ruled ineligible to play at Memphis' Hamilton HS this season following his transfer there in December.

Georgetown 79, Nevada Las Vegas 62 1/25/01

Happy Birthday, Wesley Wilson.

Coming off the bench to revive a Georgetown offense that looked like it was still playing Pittsburgh, Wilson's 18 points powered the Hoyas to a 79-62 win over Nevada-Las Vegas at MCI Center Thursday.

The Hoyas opened the game flat and it showed, shooting 0 for 7 and trailing by ten points only four minutes into the game. Guards Kevin Braswell and Demetrius Hunter started slow and would shoot a combined 4 for 18 in the game (2 for 10 from three point range), so help was needed from the bench. That help came from Wilson, who entered the game and scored on three consecutive possessions to begin the Hoya comeback. (Wilson and Kevin Braswell played for UNLV coach Max Good when he was coaching at Maine Central Institute, but neither started.)

Late in the first half, Georgetown tightened its defense and moved the ball inside, neutralizing UNLV center Kaspars Kambala, who was trying to stay out of foul trouble. The up-tempo game began to tire the Rebels (11-8), and Georgetown took a 33-32 lead with 2:35 in the half. The Hoyas ended the first half strong on a 7-0 run and took a 41-35 halftime lead.

Opening the second half, strong play by Gerald Riley and Mike Sweetney powered the Hoyas to an 11-3 run and the Rebels were down 52-38. UNLV could close to no fewer than 11 as their outside shooting failed in the second half, while Georgetown continued to pound it inside. A signature dunk by Wilson was icing on the cake, so to speak, as Wilson said the dunk was in honor of his 21st birthday.

Here are links to post-game coverage:

Braswell, Hunter Featured 1/25/01

Junior Kevin Braswell is featured in a Q&A with the Sporting News in advance of the UNLV game, discussing the Hoyas, his former prep school coach (UNLV's Max Good), and his pick for the Super Bowl. Recommended reading.

A feature on Georgetown sophomore Demetrius Hunter appeared in Wednesday's Las Vegas Review Journal in advance of Thursday's game.

NBA All-Star Votes Favor Hoyas 1/23/01

-Georgetown alumnus Alonzo Mourning (C' 92) is unable to play in the NBA All-Star Game, but finished first in voting for the Eastern Conference All-Stars. Dikembe Mutombo (SLL' 91) finished third.

"It's surprising," Mutombo told USA Today. "The vote speaks well for the hard-working guy. It says fans appreciate the lunch-pail, hard-hat, punch-the-clock, give-it-all-you've-got guy."

Recruit Daryl Owens In Feature 1/23/01

-Georgetown signee Daryl Owens is featured in an article from the Thibodaux (LA) Daily Comet. (Thanks to "DCHoya" for the link.)

Pittsburgh 70, Georgetown 66 1/20/01

An inspired Pittsburgh squad took advantage of a lackluster Georgetown defense and ten three pointers to upset the #9 Hoyas 70-66 at MCI Center on Inauguration Night before a smaller than anticipated crowd of 12,109. The Panthers controlled the tempo of the game, shot 52 percent, and never let the Hoyas build a lead. Down the stretch, Georgetown failed on five consecutive possessions and scored two points in the final 4:51.

The Hoyas led by an uneasy 35-33 at half, battling back from an early six point deficit. Twice the Hoyas made runs to take a one point lead, in both cases those runs were halted by time outs and Pitt (11-6, 3-3 Big East) answered the call thereafter. Following back to back three pointers by Gerald Riley, Georgetown led 64-63, but seemed unprepared for the rest of the game. Pitt took advantage of defensive lapses to post many easy scores, including a layup in the final minute that sealed the deal.

The Panthers' secret weapon was from three. Shooting 33 percent for the season, the Panthers shot 10 for 23 from long range, 50 percent (4 for 8) in the second half. Georgetown's three point shooting (8 for 28) was haphazard at best.

The question entering the game was which Panther team would show up--the team that beat Seton Hall by 12, or the team that was routed by Notre Dame. Now we know, but the next question is which Georgetown team returns Thursday versus UNLV.

Some links to post-game media:

Georgetown In The Press 1/19/01

Here are some more articles on the Hoyas, including a feature from Sports Illustrated:

Georgetown 99, Seton Hall 91 1/18/01

Kevin Braswell's season high 26 points led Georgetown to a hard fought 99-91 win over #19 Seton Hall at the Meadowlands Monday night, extending the Hoyas' win streak to sixteen and building a 4-0 conference record, its first such mark in six years. The Hoyas held Seton Hall, a powerful team shooting 45% from the field, to 38 percent shooting and denied them at numerous runs during the game.

Seton Hall took advantage of early foul trouble on Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje (two fouls in the first 1:45 of the game) to lead by six at 14-8. The Hoyas answered this with a thunderous dunk by sophomore Demetrius Hunter that was featured across sportscasts nationwide on Monday. Seton hall's last lead was at 33-31, whereupon Georgetown went on a 14-0 run to lead 45-33 with 5:18 to play and 53-47 at the half. Braswell led all scorers with 15 points, aided by three three-pointers from Lee Scruggs that maintained the lead.

The Pirates fought throughout the game and narrowed the lead when Boumtje-Boumtje and Scruggs each picked up a third foul. A 9-0 Pirate run narrowed the lead to 71-69 and to 75-74, where Braswell answered with a long three pointer to build back the lead and quiet the crowd.

The game may have turned for good with 5:45 to play and the Pirates trailing by five, 84-79. On three straight possessions, Seton Hall took long and somewhat ill-advised three point shots, hoping to rapidly cut into the lead. All three missed, and the Hoyas went on a 9-2 run to put the game away. The Hall did not score a field goal until 1:45 to play.

Five Hoyas scored in double figures and, as fans nationwide are beginning to understand, this is a team effort. Joining Braswell with game honors would include Demetrius Hunter (5-5 from the field, 11 points), Lee Scruggs (13 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks in 17 minutes), and Mike Sweetney (14 points, 14 rebounds). The unsung hero might have been senior Nat Burton. Despite not taking a single shot, Burton blanketed the Pirates' Darius Lane, holding him to 4 for 12 shooting and preventing numerous pass plays inside. A 43 percent shooter averaging 19 points per game, Lane is now 5 for 27 (19 percent) in his two games against Burton and the Hoya defense.

But the team's MVP was Braswell. "At the beginning of the year I didn't think we'd be this good on the road," Coach Esherick told Jim O'Connell of the Associated Press. "I didn't think we had that much experience coming back, but they've done a good job of playing well on the road when teams make runs at us, and that's a tribute to Kevin Braswell."

Post-game links follow below:

Coming Attractions 1/14/01

Of particular interest in the Washington Post account linked above is the announcement of home-and-home series with UCLA and South Carolina beginning in 2001-02, and Duke in 2002-03. According to the Post, the Hoyas will host South Carolina and travel to UCLA next year, with a road game to Duke starting that series a year later.

Georgetown 96, Virginia Tech 68 1/13/01

Five Hoyas scored in double figures scored in a 96-68 win over Virginia Tech at MCI Center Saturday. The Hoyas opened with a 20-2 run which put the game out of reach, and led by as many as 43 late in the second half before the Hokies (7-8) put on a three-point shooting contest to narrow the count under 30.

From an initial 2-0 deficit, the Hoyas built its lead from 10-2, to 18-4, to 31-6 in the first eleven minutes of the first half. Leading 52-24 at the half, they went on a 16-4 run to open the second half and led 81-38 halfway through the half. The lead topped at 43 at 88-45 before the Hokies narrowed the count with the outcome certain.

Anthony Perry (15 in the first half, 16 overall) and Nat Burton (16 points) led the Hoyas in scoring. The Hoyas shot 46 percent for the game although they were only 5-17 from three point range. No Hoya played more than 23 minutes in the game, and ten players scored during the game.

A peculiar moment of the game was a technical foul called on the Georgetown Band for someone playing a drum beat following a monstrous dunk.

Next, some post-game links to the coverage:

Beast Of East...II 1/12/01

With all the national media curiosity in the 14-0 Hoyas, it's understandable that the local fans are interested, too. Here's a feature in Wednesday's Washington Post appropriately titled "Beast of East II: Coach Esherick Has Undefeated Georgetown Back to Where it Belongs".

Thomas Seeks New High School 1/12/01

Georgetown recruit Harvey Thomas is seeking a hardship waiver to play basketball at a high school in Memphis, according to this link from the Memphis Commercial Appeal. Thomas had transferred into Montrose (MD) Christian Academy this past fall, but left in November. His residency status at Memphis' Hamilton HS (alma mater of current freshman Omari Faulkner) has been appealed to the Tennessee state athletic association. A decision could come by early next week.

Another recruiting note can be found in this link to CNN/SI, where recruiting correspondent Brick Oettinger ranks the Hoyas as the #1 incoming recruiting class in the conference...but notes that "there's a question whether athletic [Daryl] Owens will qualify academically for freshman eligibility."

Perry: No Fifth Year 1/12/01

A pair of articles in Washington's daily press this weekend had notes on senior Anthony Perry.

The Washington Times discussed Perry's off-season adjustment to improve his scoring, speaking with former coach Bob Hurley. "I knew that Anthony would fight through the shooting slump," Hurley told the Times, "because there's no quit in him. He had plenty of chances to quit before. None of his brothers even made it through high school, and he's had a rough life, but he's one of the most determined kids I've ever coached. What a heart."

Unfortunately, the Times did not post the article to its web page.

The Washington Post preview of Saturday's game states that Georgetown will not petition the NCAA for a fourth year of eligibility for Perry, who sat his freshman year over issues with the NCAA clearinghouse.

Georgetown 86, Morgan State 68 1/10/01

An 18-0 run to start the game powered the Georgetown Hoyas to a 86-68 non-conference win over Morgan State at McDonough Gymnasium tonight. Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje led all Georgetown scorers with 19 points as four Hoyas scored in double figures.

Morgan State (2-10) was scoreless for the first 6:15 of the game, trailing 18-0 before its first basket. It was notable streak to open the game, though the Washington Times accurately observed that while "Georgetown spokesman Bill Shapland assured the media the 18-0 opening run was the longest blanking in his 17 years on the Hilltop. But with scores like Georgetown's 58-3 victory over Maryland in 1907, it's reasonably safe to assume no official records were broken."

Following the opening six minutes, the Bears generally matched the Hoyas point for point for the rest of the game as Georgetown rotated players and offensive sets throughout the game. The 14-0 mark equals the second best start to a Georgetown season, set in the 1989-90 season, and is four wins behind the all-time record of 18 straight to open the 1984-85 season.

Some post-game links follow below. Thanks to the Washington Times, online readers get a rare link to Barker Davis' outstanding coverage in that paper.

National Media Rediscovers GU 1/9/01

The national media has rediscovered Georgetown this week, and here are a sample of web links discussing the 2000-01 Hoyas:

"Beware of Dogs"

"Undefeated Georgetown Is For Real"
Dick Vitale, ESPN.com

"For Real: Upstart Hoyas Make Early Strides"
Jeff Gilzitt, USA Today

"Big East Surprises"
Dan Wetzel, Sportsline.com

"Things Are Different Around the Hoyas"
Jim O'Connell, Associated Press

"Georgetown Is Looming Large Again"
Eric Stephens, Los Angeles Times

"Coach Of The Week"
Dick Vitale, ESPN.com

Georgetown 78, Seton Hall 66 1/6/01

Memo to the Post's Tony Kornheiser: There's a new Bandwagon in town.

With a mighty defensive stand in the second half, the Georgetown Hoyas shut down Seton Hall (10-3) for an impressive 78-66 win at MCI Center Saturday. The Hall's previous losses were to former #1 Michigan State and #9 Illinois.

Both teams started off with intensity. The teams traded runs in the first half as turnovers mounted on both sides. Georgetown's defense held Seton Hall to 33 percent shooting, but the Hoyas 17 first half turnovers kept the score close throughout. A 33-30 first half score gave Hoya fans hope, but Seton Hall's leading scorer Darius Lane was scoreless and the Hoyas couldn't be expected to be shut out in the second half.

Or could they?

The defense rose to the occasion early in the second half. Down 43-42, the Hoyas went on a 9-0 run. As the pressure mounted, Seton Hall struggled mightily. Emblematic of the cold shooting was Lane, who missed 14 consecutive shots before a late basket with under a minute to play. On the other hand, the symbol of the Hoyas success was forward Lee Scruggs, who drained two consecutive three pointers from the top of the circle to send the lead skyward, part of a 17-4 run.

"Georgetown had great momentum and confidence in the second half," Seton Hall coach Tommy Amaker said. "We rebounded well but we had only eight assists as a team, which shows we did not work well together offensively.

Andre Barrett led the Pirates with 16 points. His 2 for 6 outside shooting provided the only three pointers of the game--the rest of his team was 0 for 14. Freshman Eddie Griffin was impressive in his Washington debut (15 points, 13 rebounds, six blocks and four steals), but he too was held in check in the second half.

Five Hoyas finished in double figures. Georgetown's 53 percent second half shooting is a little deceptive, especially when the Hoyas missed five layups in that stretch. However, one stat tells the adjustments this team made when it counted--from 17 first half turnovers, the Hoyas committed only six in the second. Similarly, Kevin Braswell

"This was our first really big game, first real contest to let us know we're good, and I got out of control in the first half, Said Braswell. "Coach came in here and said, 'Kevin, you've got to calm down.'" Braswell had six turnovers in the first half but only one in the second. and tied a career high in assists (12) set just three days ago at West Virginia.

According to the Associated Press polls, this is the first victory by Georgetown over a ranked team in the regular season since its 78-67 win over #14 Villanova on Jan. 27, 1997; however, many press accounts have inaccurately called it the first win since the 106-68 rout of #6 Villanova on Senior Day, March 2, 1996.

Finally, some post-game links follow below.

Georgetown 90, West Virginia 66 1/3/01

Can you hear it? It's the sound of momentum, and it's starting to be heard across the nation.

The #19th ranked Hoyas dominated the West Virginia Mountaineers in the second half, rolling to a 90-66 win at the WVU Coliseum Wednesday.

West Virginia (8-3) opened strong, thanks to 16 first half points by 6-11 center Calvin Bowman. With Georgetown big men Lee Scruggs and Wesley Wilson tagged with three fouls in the first half, WVU built a 35-29 lead late in the half when Kevin Braswell scored eight of his 14 points in a key stretch to keep the Hoyas close. No less important was a Demetrius Hunter three pointer (his only three of the game) to pull the Hoyas even at 40-all at the end of the half.

Georgetown's defensive adjustments at halftime paid off in a big way. The Hoyas went on a 13-2 run in the game's first three minutes to lead 53-42, then followed up with an 11-2 run with eight minutes to play to blow it open at 83-60. Calvin Bowman, who scored 16 for the Mountaineers in the first half, was held to one basket in the second half to finish with 20 points.

The smaller than anticipated crowd at WVU Coliseum, only 5,100, made its way for the exits as Georgetown won its third straight road game and its biggest margin of victory on the road in eleven years.

For the second straight game, Anthony Perry (15 points) led the team in scoring, the first time Perry has led the team in consecutive games in two years. All five starters scored in double figures, and Kevin Braswell's 12 assists was a career high. Across the board, the Hoyas played solid defense, showed good passing skills, and maintained a healthy assist to turnover ratio (22 assists, 13 turnovers) that did not allow WVU to make a comeback.

Here are links to post-game coverage:


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