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Georgetown Basketball: January 2003 News Archive

The Sixth Man 1/30/03

Still wondering how Seton Hall got a dunk to take the lead late in its game against Georgetown? It turns out they were on a "power play" of sorts.

First spotted by some HoyaTalk readers and confirmed soon thereafter by ESPN, a review of the game tape shows that Seton Hall had six men on the court in the final seconds of regulation, including the Pirate basket that helped force overtime.

However, neither the referees, the coaching staffs, the radio announcers, nor the TV announcers ever pointed it out. Here's a photo of the play from the Washington Post.

"The rules state that you can't go back [and change the result]," said the Big East's John Paquette. "Even if the officials noticed after Seton Hall had scored, they could not have changed that."

"As horrible a job as officials do in determining the difference between a block and a charge... you'd figure they could handle the simple job of counting the players. So how is it that none of the three working Seton Hall's game at Georgetown noticed the Pirates had six players on the floor for two crucial plays that led the game into overtime?" asked Sporting News columnist Mike DeCourcy. "This is an absurd, embarrassing error."

Seton Hall 93, Georgetown 82 (OT) 1/30/03

"It was like three people being in the right position and one person not. It's little things like that, that fans don't notice. But it's killing us."
--Tony Bethel, in the Washington Post

"We've got to figure out who we have on our team that wants to win. Those people that want to win, and work to win, are going to play. Those who want to make excuses and don't want to win are not going to play."
--Craig Esherick, in the Washington Post

What do Boston College, Miami, and Providence have in common? Each are teams with a couple of good players, a half dozen inconsistent players, and a 2-4 conference record that has knocked them right out of the Big East race with a month to play.

They've just got some more company.

Fouls, defensive lapses and continued poor outside shooting paced the Georgetown Hoyas to its sixth loss in eight games, as Seton Hall forced an overtime and walked away with a 93-82 sweep of the Hoyas before 7,242 at MCI Center.

The Hoyas (10-6, 2-4 Big East) opened the game with a performance much like its first game with the Pirates (8-9): sluggish play and porous defense allowed the Pirates ample room for an 11 point first half lead before the Hoyas narrowed the count to 36-31 at the half. Georgetown did not take its first lead until 9:53 to play, 56-54, and led by five at 62-57 with 6:43 to play. The Pirates' tandem of Andre Barrett and John Allen kept the Pirates close in spite of 63% second half GU shooting, and began to work on the lead when Mike Sweetney fouled out with 4:47 to play. The Pirates took the lead at 67-65 with 2:37 to play, and the two teams traded possessions (and turnovers). A pair of Tony Bethel offensive fouls on consecutive possessions kept the Pirates close, and with the score tied at 72 Gerald Riley tied up a Seton Hall possession with :07 left, but on the alternate possession the Hall retained possession, whereupon they alley-ooped the ball over Bethel to take the lead, 74-72. A court-length drive by Riley tied the score at 74-all with 1.9 seconds left.

In the overtime, Georgetown scored on the opening drive, 77-74, and a Drew Hall free throw gave the Hoyas a 78-76 lead with 3:49 to play. With Sweetney and Wilson fouled out and the Pirates' guards on a roll, the wheels shot off the Hoyas' plans once again. An Andre Barrett three with 2:07 gave the Pirates an 81-78 lead, and the Hoyas had no answer. Seton Hall scored 13 consecutive points in the overtime while the Hoyas went 2 for 9 from the field following Riley's opening basket.

It was the first road win for the Pirates in Big East play since Feb. 8, 2002, and only its third win at Georgetown ever in Big East play. Seton Hall sweeps the series between the two schools for the first time since 1987.

Three point shooting continues to be a complete waste of time for the Hoya offense. With its 3 for 14 effort Wednesday, the Hoyas are now shooting an embarrassing 15 for 73 (20%) in conference play. Outside of Tony Bethel (10 for 27), its next three options (Gerald Riley, Brandon Bowman, Drew Hall) have shot a combined 4 for 32 in six games, and the rest of the team is a combined 1 for 14. And among the most frustrating parts of these stats is that with a three--any three-- against St. John's, Pitt or Seton Hall, 2-4 is suddenly 4-2 or 5-1.

But it's not, and the Hoyas now take a winless road record to four straight conference games, including Notre Dame, Syracuse, and Rutgers, where the Scarlet Knights won their first Big East game of the season with a win over Syracuse. Maybe the change of scenery will help--with the loss, the Hoyas are now below .500 (22-23) in their own "home court" since it opened in 1998.

The box score is below. The statistics of the reserves also speaks volumes why foul-outs are a recipe for disaster with this team...and every opponent knows it.


           MIN  2FG  3FG    FT  REB  A  PF  PTS
Starters:
Bowman      18   3-7  0-2   0-0   4  1   5    6
Bethel      43  7-12  3-5   5-6   6  5   4   22
Riley       33  6-15  0-4   5-5   3  3   4   17
Sweetney    32   6-9  0-0  8-10  12  0   5   20
Wilson      17   5-8  0-0   2-3   3  0   5   12
Subtotal       27-51 3-11 20-24  28  9  23   77 
Reserves:
Freeman     13   0-2 0-0   0-0   0   1   1    0
Hall        23   0-3 0-1   2-4   3   3   2    2
Ross         1   0-0 0-0   0-0   0   0   0    0
Samnick     16   1-2 0-0   1-1   3   0   2    3
Owens       29   0-4 0-2   0-2   2   2   2    0
DNP: Faulkner, Hillier, Cook (injured)
Subtotal        1-11 0-3   3-7   8   6   7    5

TOTALS     225 28-62 3-14 23-31 36  15  30   82

Post-game reports:

Pittsburgh 65, Georgetown 64 1/26/03

"That was a very exciting college basketball game. Iím glad we walked out with a win. We didnít play well offensively in the first half but attacked well in the second... Georgetown is a good team and no one should walk away without thinking that."--Pitt coach Ben Howland

All that stood between the Georgetown Hoyas and overtime against the #2 ranked Pittsburgh Panthers was 3.5 seconds...and referee Tim Higgins.

Higgins' phantom whistle on a driving Julius Page shot with only four-tenths of a second left allowed Pitt a 65-64 escape from the Hoyas before a sold-out crowd of 12,508 at the Petersen Events Center. The sour finish spoiled a inspired Georgetown effort from start to finish.

The Hoyas started off strong, with good shooting and a relentless defense that kept the panthers (15-1, 5-0 Big East) off their stride. Pitt missed seven of its first eight shot attempts and posted only six points in the first eight minutes of play. Georgetown led by as many as seven in the first half, 21-14, when Wesley Wilson sat with his third foul at the 6:53 mark. Wilson played early in the second half but no further, ending the game with a disappointing two points and two rebounds.

Three times in the first half Pitt made a run at the Georgetown lead, and each time the Hoyas held firm. Georgetown took a 29-25 halftime lead, but Pitt answered the second half bell by hitting on its first eight field goal attempts in a row, and built an 11 point lead, 48-37. Georgetown refused to fold, however, answering that run with an 11-0 run of its own to tie the score with 8:56 to play. No team led by more than four points thereafter.

The Hoyas' defense was as tough as Pitt has seen all year, and it was the first game all season where the Panthers trailed at the half while at home. The Georgetown defense held Brandin Knight and Donatas Zavackas to a combined 2 for 12 shooting, but the Panthers' hero was reserve forward Chevon Troutman. Troutman, averaging an amazing 75% from the field this season, scored on 5 of 5 from the field, and 10 of 10 from the line for 20 points and game-high honors.

Troutman began a key series with a tip-in to give Pitt a 59-56 lead with 2:50 to play. Mike Sweetney answered with a jumper, followed by two Pitt free throws and a Sweetney jumper to 61-60. After two more Pitt free throws, the Pitt defense shut down the Hoyas inside and forced a shot clock violation with 1:08 left.

Attempts by Pitt to run out the clock failed with a Pitt turnover with 30 seconds left. As Georgetown looked for the last shot, Troutman blocked a Brandon Bowman jumper and the Hoyas fouled Page, who hit 1 of 2 to lead 64-60 with 0:22 left. A seeming last-gasp three by Tony Bethel sailed wide but Pitt fouled off the rebound, allowing Drew Hall two free throws to close to 64-62. The Hoyas quickly fouled Zavackas, who missed two free throws and committed a foul on the ensuing play, giving Bowman an unlikely chance to tie the score. With 12,000 or so Pitt fans at a full decibel level, a pair of clutch free throws by Bowman tied the score with 3.5 seconds left.

On the inbounds, a long pass to Page sent the junior guard down the court, where his feet gave way adjacent to Drew Hall. There appeared no more than incidental contact, if that, but referee Tim Higgins quickly awarded Hall a fifth foul with 0.4 seconds left. Page made the first shot, intentionally missed the second, whereupon Georgetown had no time to set up a play in the final moment.

Fouls told the story of the game. All five Pitt starters collected at least three fouls each, with Ontario Lett and Brevin Knight fouling out for the Panthers, while the Hoyas lost Gerald Riley, Courtland Freeman, Victor Samnick, and Drew Hall. The teams combined for 57 fouls and 67 foul shots. Down the stretch, the Hoyas made 7 of 7 free throws, Pitt 11 of 14. The Panthers took 41 free throws, 15 more than the Hoyas, but Pitt connected on only 59% compared to Georgetown's 73% (19 for 26). For the game, the Hoya starting five was 12 of 13 from the line compared to 14 of 26 for the Panther five.

In games against teams ranked #1 (Duke) and #2 (Pitt), Georgetown has played as well as any opponent they have faced anywhere. Still, the upsets did not materialize. facing four of its next five Big East games on the road, the Hoyas (10-5 overall, 2-3 Big East, 0-4 on the road) need to make a statement to get back in the conference race.

Saturday's final was another in a long line of bad finishes in January for Georgetown teams. Dating back to 1985, the Hoyas have lost 11 of 19 games played on the last Saturday in January, and seven of the last eight. The box score follows below:


           MIN  2FG  3FG  FT  REB  A  PF   PTS
Starters:
Bowman      32   5-9 1-2  5-5   5   0   1   16
Sweetney    31   5-9 0-0  2-2   5   0   3   12
Wilson       9   1-3 0-0  0-0   2   0   3    2
Bethel      37   5-9 1-5  5-5   2   6   4   16
Riley       23  3-10 1-4  0-1   4   1   5    7
Reserves:
Freeman     21   1-4 0-0  2-2   5   0   5    4
Faulkner     3   0-0 0-0  0-2   0   0   0    0
Hall        16   0-1 0-0  4-4   3   0   5    4
Ross         1   0-0 0-0  0-0   1   0   0    0
Hillier      1   0-0 0-0  0-0   0   0   1    0
Samnick     16   0-3 0-0  1-5   6   0   5    1
Owens       10   1-2 0-0  0-0   0   2   0    2
DNP: Cook (injured)
TOTALS     200 21-50 3-11 19-26 33  9  32   64

Post-game reports:

GU 76, Rutgers 66 1/21/03

Mike Sweetney and Tony Bethel combined for 47 points as the Georgetown Hoyas overcame a second half scare from Rutgers and posted an important 76-66 win before 7,644 at MCI Center Monday.

Both teams started out shooting poorly, a harbinger of things to come. The Hoyas missed eight of its first 11 shots and posted only six points in the first eight minutes, trailing 10-6. A 12-1 run powered the Hoyas to a lead thereafter, while Rutgers was struggling with a variety of ill-timed outside shots. The Hoyas led by ten in the final minute but turned the ball over and Rutgers connected on consecutive two and three point shots to cut the deficit to five at the half, 33-28. Tony Bethel led all scorers with 12 at the break.

The Hoyas extended the lead to 39-28 at the start of the second half, but the Scarlet Knights switched to the pressing, full court attack used effectively by St. John's two days earlier, leading to a 8-0 Rutgers run and keeping the score tight throughout much of the half. While the Hoyas looked ragged at times, it was fortunate that they had 15 minutes to adjust versus its last minute meltdown versus St. John's. With the extra time, the Hoyas successfully weathered the attack.

The Scarlet Knights (8-8, 0-4 Big East) briefly held leads of 47-46 and 51-50, but deepening foul trouble for its big men and a penchant for wild three point shooting did them in. The Scarlet Knights went without a field goal for five minutes and added only one field goal in a nine minute stretch as Georgetown successfully adjusted to Rutgers' trapping defenses and pushed the ball into Mike Sweetney, with another strong effort (27 points, 13 rebounds) on both sides of the ball. A 10-3 run in the last five minutes helped power the Hoyas to the win, with a late charge from Tony Bethel, who finished with 20 points. No other Hoyas posted double figures for the game.

For the game, Rutgers shot 31% from the field and missed 23 of 29 three point attempts. A 46-45 rebounding edge (including a 17-10 offensive rebound edge) kept RU close throughout the game. RU's lading scorers, jerome Coleman and Ricky Shields, combined for 7 for 32 from the field, 4 for 22 from three.

The win could not have come at a better time for a Georgetown team which needed some confidence heading to #2 Pittsburgh Saturday. While the Hoyas still showed signs of erratic play (19 turnovers, including six in the first six minutes of the second half), they reduced needless three point shooting (only 2-6 from behind the arc) and took advantage of its inside game when Rutgers was forced into a guard-oriented lineup.

Some good adjustments, and some things to build on this week.

The Georgetown box score follows below:


           MIN  2FG  3FG  FT  REB  A  PF   PTS
Starters:
Bowman      31   2-6  0-0  1-2   5   0   3    5
Bethel      37  8-14  2-5  2-2   5   3   2   20
Riley       33   1-8  0-1  5-6   6   4   1    7
Sweetney    36 10-17  0-0 7-13  13   3   2   27
Wilson      13   2-5  0-0  0-0   2   1   3    4
Reserves:
Freeman     12   1-2  0-0  1-2   2   0   4    3
Hall        15   1-1  0-0  2-2   1   3   0    4
Samnick      5   0-0  0-0  0-0   2   0   1    0
Owens       18   2-3  0-0  2-3   6   1   2    6
DNP: Cook (injured), Faulkner, Ross, Hillier
TOTALS    200 27-56   2-6 20-30 42  15  18   76

Post-game reports:

Reports: Esherick Contract To Be Extended 1/20/03

Whatever grumbling some fans expressed following the 77-72 loss to St. John's, Georgetown University thinks otherwise.

The Washington Times reported Sunday that sources said that head coach Craig Esherick was in talks for a multi-year contract extension, which could be completed this week. The Washington Post has an article in Monday's issue speaking with the Georgetown athletic department on the matter, and reports the extension could reach to the 2008-09 season.

"He's taken over for a legend at a school where you have to keep your mind on academics, and averaged 21 wins [a season]," said Joseph Lang, director of athletics. "He's been very, very good at dealing with all the issues you deal with on campus."

In his fourth season, Esherick is 80-48 (.625), which compares favorably to John Thompson's first four seasons at the Hilltop at 64-44 (.593). Although he has been the head coach only four years, only four Big East coaches have more tenure than Esherick.

St. John's 77, Georgetown 72 1/20/03

One would be hard pressed to remember a more disheartening finish in the modern history of Georgetown basketball.

Trailing by 17 points in the final 7:23 of play, the St. John's Redmen (nee Red Storm) turned to senior Marcus Hatten, who scored 19 of his game-high 34 points down the stretch in a 77-72 win at MCI Center. The lack of composure by Georgetown's play left its coaches stunned and solicited audible booing from some in the MCI crowd at the conclusion of the game. Were it not for a wild Tony Bethel shot at the end of the West Virginia game, the Hoyas would be staring at 0-3 in Big East play.

The two teams battled to a 35-all tie in the first half, with Mike Sweetney leading the Hoyas and Hatten held in check by the defensive prowess of Gerald Riley. Georgetown built its lead with a halftime correction by the coaching staff that held the Redmen to seven points in the first nine minutes of the half and a 53-42 advantage. A pair of free throws than built the lead to 69-52 when St. John's made their move. The Redmen closed to eleven but GU built the lead back to 14, and when Gerald Riley fouled out with under five minutes to go, Hatten had no equal on the Hoya defense, and was glad to oblige as the Hoyas self-destructed.

The win marked St. John's fifth straight victory over Georgetown dating back to 1997. The MCI Center court continues to be every opponent's best friend--since 1998, Georgetown is 22-22 (.500) on its own "home" court, and since the 2000-01 season has done about as well on the road (10-7) as at home (10-8).

The problem is that you can't count on the road to advance in the standings. Following Monday's game with Rutgers, five of the Hoyas' next seven are on the road, with one conference home game between Jan. 20 and Feb. 15.

Game stats are below. But here are three stats the team and staff would do well to ponder:

1. In three conference games, the Hoyas have given up 65 turnovers, an abysmal assist to turnover ratio of 0.44. Put another way, that's a turnover every 110 seconds of action.
2. In three games, the Hoyas are 7 of 42 from three point range (16 percent), the Hoyas' lowest statistic in conference play since the three point shot went into effect.
3. In three games the GU bench has contributed an average of only 14 points a game, and has not topped 10 points in the last two. Saturday, the bench contributed two field goals and seven of the Hoyas season-high 24 turnovers.

A full review of stats at the halftime point of the season follows Thursday.


           MIN  2FG  3FG  FT  REB  A  PF   PTS
Starters:
Bowman       34 4-7  0-2  4-7   8   3  5    12
Bethel       37 3-11 2-5  2-2  10   3  5    10
Riley        29 2-7  1-4  5-5   2   0  5    10
Sweetney     29 5-8  0-0 11-13  7   0  3    21
Wilson       22 2-5  0-0  5-5   7   0  2     9
Reserves:
Freeman      10 0-5  0-1  0-0   3   0  1     0
Hall         19 2-3  0-0  5-6   3   1  0     9
Samnick      17 0-0  0-0  1-2   3   0  2     1
Owens         3 0-0  0-0  0-0   2   0  0     0
DNP: Cook (injured), Faulkner, Ross, Hillier
TOTALS        18-46 3-12 34-40  45  8  23   72

Post-game reports:

"You could see they were scared."-- St. John's guard Willie Shaw

No, a "Deer Xing" this sign wasn't on the MCI sideline, but the finish to Saturday's game could have used the warning, because the players on the court were much like a deer crossing the road--the headlights of the oncoming Redmen simply blinded the Hoyas. For no apparent reason, and oblivious to its bench imploring them to respond to the pressure defense, the Hoyas not only allowed St. John's back in the game, but committed five fouls and seven turnovers in the final 4:22.

Hatten led a comeback that erased nine points off the lead in two minutes. With 2:04 left, here is the game sequence:

GU Possession SJU Possession Score
    G, 67-58
  Ingram 3 pointer G, 67-61
Turnover (Hall)   G, 67-61
  Hatten jumper G, 67-63
Sweetney jumper   G, 69-63
  Hatten 3 pointer G, 69-66
Offensive foul (Bowman)   G, 69-66
  Hatten 3 pointer Tie,69-69
Samnick FT, turnover (Sweetney)   G, 70-69
  Hatten layup SJ, 71-70
Turnover (Samnick)   SJ, 71-70
  Hatten layup SJ 73-70
Hall free throws   SJ 73-72
  Hatten free throws SJ 75-72
Turnover (Hall)   SJ 75-72
  Ingram free throw SJ,76-72
Offensive foul (Bowman)   SJ 76-72
  St. John free throw SJ 77-72
Missed shot (Bowman)   Final
Thompson Honored At St. John's Game 1/16/03

Georgetown University has announced a month-long community initiative beginning on this weekend's holiday. From GUHoyas.com:

"As part of its efforts, Georgetown will present the inaugural "John Thompson Legacy of a Dream Award" during halftime festivities at the Saturday, January 18 Georgetown-St. John's basketball game at the MCI Center. The first award was given to John Thompson, Coach Emeritus of Georgetown men's basketball team, in honor of his service to the community and dedication to the values of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."

Seton Hall 68, Georgetown 54 1/13/03

Mike Sweetney can't do it all, folks.

Four Georgetown guards (Tony Bethel, Drew Hall, Gerald Riley and RaMell Ross) combined to miss 24 of 27 shots and allowed an underrated Seton Hall team a surprisingly easy 68-54 win before 7,114 at Continental Airlines Arena.

The Hall (6-7, 1-3 Big East) took a 7-6 lead early and the Hoyas never regained the lead. Many of the same problems evident in the West Virginia game continued to bedevil the Hoyas, shooting 9 for 27 in the first half and giving up 12 turnovers, while allowing the Pirates to hit on 55% of its shots and take a 39-26 halftime lead.

In the second, the two teams basically played even, The Hoyas closed to within seven at two occasions but Seton Hall answered on both occasions. A late run closed to nine, 60-51, with 2:49 left but the Hoyas' outside shooting was non-existent and the Pirates scored eight of the final eleven points of the game.

Mike Sweetney led all Georgetown scorers with 22 points, but no one else was close. With Ashanti Cook and Darrel Owens out with injuries, and Gerald Riley playing through injury, the other Hoyas did not rise to the occasion. Senior Wesley Wilson continues his rapid retreat from the stat sheets, scoring one point in this game and seven points in his last three. Guard Tony Bethel finished a career low 0 for 9, while Drew Hall, with a 1 for 7 effort, is now shooting 28% from the field.

The Hoyas were 2 for 20 in three point attempts and 0 for 13 in the second half. In its last three games, the Hoyas have scored 8 three pointers in 47 attempts. Enough said.

Game stats:


           MIN  2FG  3FG  FT  REB  A  PF   PTS
Starters:
Bethel     37   0-9  0-4  1-2   3   3   2    1
Riley      28   1-6  0-4  2-2   3   0   5    4
Bowman     16   4-6  0-0  1-2   4   0   2    9
Sweetney   36  8-17  0-0  6-9   9   2   4   22
Wilson     10   0-2  0-0  1-2   3   0   2    1
Reserves:
Freeman     6   0-0  0-0  0-0   1   0   1    0
Hall       26   1-7  1-6  0-0   3   1   4    3
Ross       14   1-5  1-4  0-0   3   0   2    3
Samnick    27   4-7  0-1  3-4   5   1   3   11
DNP: Cook, Owens (both injured),
Faulkner, Hillier
TOTALS        19-59 2-20 14-21 34   7  25   54

Here are links to post-game coverage. The Washington Times game report was not posted to its web site, but its game notes (linked below) is available.

Esherick Not Suspended For WVU Remarks 1/14/03

The Big East conference will not suspend head coach Craig Esherick for comments made after Sunday's West Virginia game, according to ESPN.com.

"Craig was not going after the officials personally or going after their integrity. Those are the two things I'll never accept from anyone," Tranghese told the Washington Post. "But I told him he can't go through that again, and he assured me he won't."

Esherick talked candidly to the press after the game on the pounding Mike Sweetney is taking in recent games. As Washington Post correspondent Ken Denlinger put it, "No one who has watched Esherick in public during his four-plus seasons as Georgetown's coach had ever seen him so furious." Recaps can be found in the Washington Post and Washington Times.

While the quotes vary in each newspaper, it was evident that Esherick was sending a message that Sweetney is not getting foul calls inside. While Esherick did not mention any officials by name, he conceded that the conference could have disciplined him for his comments.

Georgetown 84, West Virginia 82 (OT) 1/12/03

It's not like Hoya fans haven't seen this before. Four times in the last five years Georgetown has opened the MCI Center portion of Big East play with a loss--Villanova in 1998, Rutgers in 1999, Seton Hall in 2000, Miami in 2002.

What they haven't seen before was a surprising Georgetown comeback, overcoming a five point deficit in the final minute of play to survive into overtime and defeat West Virginia, 84-82, before 8,495 at MCI Center. The home court magic has been sorely missing at MCI, where the Hoyas were only 21-21 (.500) in Big East play since moving there in January, 1998.

Outmanned on its roster, the Mountaineers (9-3) employed a motion offense that kept the Hoyas as ill-suited as their predecessors once did versus Princeton. Effective from outside (WVU made their first three three pointers) but ineffective in the middle (missing their first nine attempts) the Hoyas were able to take the lead with 3:04 in the half and own a 34-28 lead going into halftime.

In the second half, Georgetown jumped to an early ten point lead at 51-40, but WVU had begun to attack the inside and its motion offense narrowed the score to 57-52. The Hoyas kept Mike Sweetney busy, with numerous inside plays and free throws to build the lead to to 61-52, when the Mountaineers began to crawl back with free throws and back-door plays to the basket. A 14-2 WVU run gave the Mountaineers a 66-65 lead with 3:02 left, and a 72-67 lead with 1:35 left.

The two teams exchanged free throws and WVU held a 74-69 lead in the final minute. Georgetown answered with a RaMell Ross field goal to close to three, then took possession in the final 20 seconds when a WVU pass sailed wide at midcourt. A three point attempt missed its target but was deflected off the hands of a WVU player, giving Georgetown a last chance with 5.2 seconds left. On the inbound, Drew Hall found Tony Bethel in the corner, where an improbable three point attempt (improbable since Georgetown had missed eight of its previous nine three point attempts) was good with 2.1 seconds left. A desperation shot by the Mountaineers sailed wide of the basket, taking the teams into overtime.

In the overtime, the Hoyas called upon Sweetney time and again for the offense. Six of the Hoyas' ten points in OT came from Sweetney, who matched his career high in the contest. For its part, West Virginia was fouled to tie the game at 80 but could not convert on the free throw. The Hoyas went to Sweetney for the lead, 82-80, and it was a Sweetney steal and a defensive stop on the final two series that helped the Hoyas hold the lead. A pair of free throws from Tony Bethel with 6.5 seconds in the overtime were the margin of victory.

Sweetney's performance was outstanding. Dogged by foul trouble in the Hoyas' losses at Virginia and Duke, Sweetney finished with 35 points, 19 rebounds, 5 blocks, 4 assists, and three steals, which were team highs in every category. He picked up only one foul in 41 minutes of play.

West Virginia deserves credit for a great game. Its three point shooting (7-16, 4-6 in the second half) far outpaced the Hoyas 2 for 10; in fact, Georgetown is only 16 for 61 (.262) from the three point line in its last four games.

WVU will prove to be a tough opponent throughout conference play, and the Mountaineers will host Pittsburgh later this week. Georgetown moves on to a road game at Seton Hall on Tuesday.

Game stats:


           MIN  2FG  3FG  FT    REB  A  PF   PTS
Starters:
Bowman      20  0-7  0-3  1-2    3   1   2    1
Bethel      31  4-7  2-3  4-4    3   2   3   14
Riley       25  4-10 0-2  4-4    4   4   5   12
Sweetney    41 13-23 0-0 9-13   19   4   1   35
Wilson       2  0-1  0-0  0-0    0   0   0    0
Reserves:
Freeman     15  1-2  0-0  0-3    3   0   3    2
Hall        35  1-4  0-0  0-0    0   0   4    2
Ross        14  2-5  0-1  0-0    4   2   2    4
Samnick     25  4-8  0-1  0-0    5   1   4    8
Owens       17  3-3  0-0  0-0    2   0   1    6
DNP: Cook (injured), Faulkner, Hillier, Beal
TOTALS        32-70 2-10 18-26  43  14  25   84

Here are links to post-game coverage. More links will be posted as available.

A question was raised on the HoyaTalk message board when Georgetown's last home court overtime win was, mindful of last year's overtime heartbreaks. Would you believe twelve years?

Sunday's win was the Hoyas' first home court overtime win February 9, 1991, a 71-62 win over Villanova at Capital Centre. Prior to Sunday's game, the Hoyas were a disappointing 4-16 in extra periods since 1991, 0-5 at home.


Home
1992-93 L  58-66(OT)     Providence
1993-94 L  83-84(OT)     Maryland 
1993-94 L  75-76(OT)     Villanova
1999-00 L  62-65(OT)     Seton Hall
2001-02 L 111-116(4OT)   Notre Dame

Road or Neutral:
1991-92 L  66-76(OT)  vs Virginia (at Greensboro, NC)
1991-92 L  86-88(2OT) at Boston College
1991-92 L  71-73(OT)  at Seton Hall
1993-94 L  67-73(OT)  at Providence
1993-94 W  76-71(OT)  vs Seton Hall (Big East)
1994-95 W  83-80(OT)  vs Memphis (at Toronto, ON)
1995-96 W  83-80(OT)  at West Virginia
1996-97 L  65-68(OT)  at Miami
1997-98 L  72-77(OT)  at Syracuse
1997-98 L  79-80(OT)  at Georgia Tech (NIT)
1998-99 L  90-93(2OT) at Villanova
1999-00 W 115-111(3OT)at Virginia (NIT)
2001-02 L  87-89 (OT) at Rutgers
2001-02 L  72-83 (OT) at Villanova
2001-02 L  76-84 (OT) vs Miami (Big East)

 

Duke 93, Georgetown 86 1/9/03

"We did a heck of a job coming in here and it's a tough place to play. I thought we gave a great effort. I think our younger guys are going to learn from this. Mike (Krzyzewski) has a good team. They're number one for a reason."--Craig Esherick

"What a great basketball game. The intensity of both teams was sensational. The pace of the game... it was a great, great basketball game. I'm so proud of our guys. Georgetown played extremely well. They're really good and deep. And with Sweetney, they have probably one of the top five players in the country."--Mike Krzyzewski

Dahntay Jones and Daniel Ewing led a second half comeback to pace the #1-ranked Blue Devils to an 93-86 win over the Georgetown Hoyas at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the first game all year where the Blue Devils have not won by double digits. Mike Sweetney scored 23 points in 25 minutes of play, which was the subplot during this national televised game, Georgetown's first visit ever to Duke and only the third meeting between the schools since the 1932-33 season.

The Hoyas played its best half in two years in the opening frame. Effective pressure defense and patient shot selection silenced the raucous Duke crowd early with the unranked Hoyas matching the Devils at each possession. The Hoyas held a 33-31 lead with 5:45 to play when Sweetney was tagged with his second foul and he went to the bench, but the Hoyas stayed strong and took a 44-41 lead in at the half. Duke was beset by poor shooting from the outside (1-10 from three point range) and the foul line (6-15) and were unable to take advantage of 13 Hoya turnovers.

As was the case in the second half versus Virginia, officials' calls played a role in Sweetney's limited play. Ironically, with two of the same officials who called the Virginia game (Jim Burr, Karl Hess), Sweetney was tagged with a touch foul 18 seconds into the second half and picked up his fourth with the Hoyas leading 49-48 with 16:34 to play. Both appeared to be close calls, if that.

When Sweetney sat, Duke went to work, with a quick 10-0 run keyed by Chris Duhon, held to only two points in the first half. Duke hit a whopping 70% of its early shots, building the lead before Sweetney returned with 12:55 to play.

The Hoyas did not give up, however. A Gerald Riley three narrowed the lead to 68-63 with 10:18 to play, but the Devils answered with an 8-0 run to build the lead to 13, 76-63. Again the Hoyas battled to nine, 78-69, where a Darrel Owens jam was broken up without a foul call and Duke answered with to lead 81-69. Through it all, Sweetney continued to keep the Hoyas competitive, scoring 15 of his game-high 25 in the final 12 minutes before picking up his 5th foul in the last moments of the game.

From a 87-73 deficit with 2:42 to play, Georgetown cut the deficit in half by game's end. Some strong efforts were seen by reserves Victor Samnick (7 points, 6 rebounds) and Darrel Owens (11 points, 4 rebounds). And give the coaching staff credit for cutting down on turnovers--the Hoyas gave up only four in the entire second half.

The Hoyas were led in scoring by Michael Sweetney's 23 points and 14 from Gerald Riley. Duke was led by former Rutgers transfer Dahntay Jones, with 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Daniel Ewing with 19. Shelden Williams took advantage of Sweetney's struggles to stay in the game and posted 15 points and 11 rebounds. Chris Duhon was held to only eight points.

The Hoyas' guards were a step slow against Duke's backcourt and as the tempo increased, guard play suffered. Tony Bethel, with 11 first half points, failed to score until the final moment of the game. Ashanti Cook and Drew Hall scored two points between them.

After going 1-10 from three in the first half, Duke shot 4-6 in the second. The three was no friend to Georgetown, finishing 2-11 in the second and 4-17 overall. For the game, Duke shot 52% to Georgetown's 45%, and outrebounded the Hoyas 45-37. Both teams shot well in the second half. Duke's 17-25 (68%) is admittedly hard to beat, but the Hoyas ended the second half shooting 16-26 (61%) from two point range and 18-37 (48%) overall for the half.

Two other stats: Duke is now 164-8 (.953) against non-conference teams at home since 1982, and when scoring 80 or more points, it is a remarkable 380-37 (.911) under Krzyzewski's tenure.

The game was a good test and a valuable learning experience heading into Big East play. And this quote from Duke-friendly commentator Dick Vitale sums it up: "If I were Duke, I wouldn't want to play Georgetown in the NCAA tournament on a neutral court where Sweetney can play 35 minutes."

Game stats are included with points by half broken out:


          MIN  2FG  3FG  FT  REB  A  PF 1H 2H Tot
Starters:
Bowman     17   1-5 1-2  2-2   5  1   2  2  3  5
Sweetney   25  9-16 0-0  5-7   6  1   5 10 13 23
Wilson     13   2-6 0-0  0-1   4  0   4  2  2  4
Bethel     29  4-11 1-5  4-5   5  4   0 11  2 13
Riley      31  6-11 2-4  0-0   2  0   2  5  9 14
Reserves:
Freeman     3   0-1 0-0  1-3   0  0   1  1  0  1
Hall       20   2-7 0-3  0-0   0  2   5  2  2  4
Ross        1   1-1 0-0  0-0   0  0   0  0  2  2
Samnick    23   3-4 0-0  1-2   6  2   5  2  5  7
Owens      20   5-7 0-1  1-2   4  0   1  7  4 11
Cook       18   1-7 0-2  0-0   3  2   0  2  0  2
DNP: Faulkner, Hillier, Beal  
TOTALS        34-76 4-17 14-22 35 12 25 44 42 86

Post-game coverage is extensive:

How did some of the key matchups go?

Chris Duhon vs. Tony Bethel. A tale of two halves. Bethel held Duhon in check and was the better man in the first half but the tables were turned in the second half. Duhon's nine assists and a big three pointer powered the Devils' comeback, while Bethel missed six of his seven second half shots and was out of position at a number of Duke breaks.
J.J. Redick versus Gerald Riley. Riley did an outstanding job, shutting out Redick in the first half and helping the Hoyas maintain composure in Sweetney's absence. Riley finished with 14 points, 3 steals, and only one turnover.
Dahntay Jones versus Brandon Bowman. Jones dominated the younger Bowman en route to a 9-12 shooting night. Samnick helped late but Bowman managed only 1-5 shooting and three turnovers in 17 minutes.
Shelden Williams versus Mike Sweetney. The Pre-Game Report page said Georgetown needed 35 minutes from Sweetney, but only got 25. Georgetown must work to keep him away from cheap fouls in Big East play.
Casey Sanders versus Wesley Wilson. Both were disappointing. Sanders collected four fouls and one field goal attempt in six minutes. Wilson could not shoulder the load in Sweetney's absence, picked up four fouls and three turnovers and scored only four points.
The Bench. Duke's bench was 12-21 from the field for 34 points, while Georgetown's reserves were 12-27 for 26 points. Cook and Hall were a combined 3-14, 0-5 from three point range.

 

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