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Georgetown Basketball: December 2001 News Archive

UCLA 98, Georgetown 91 12/28/01

Hitting 7 of 9 three attempts in the first 20 minutes and 11 for 18 for the game, the UCLA Bruins almost ran the Hoyas off the Pauley Pavilion court Saturday, were it not for the Bruins' chronic inability to hold a lead. And in a wild finish, it was the Bruins which had to hold on to a 98-91 win that saw the Hoyas score an astounding 22 points in the final 1:41 of play.

Attired in the style of GU road jerseys from 1978-1982, the Hoyas could not contain the taller and more experienced UCLA offense. From a modest 5-4 lead, UCLA's offense went on a 24-4 run inside and outside, as GU's attempts at establishing a stable defense failed on all counts. Down 29-8, Gerald Riley scored seven straight points to lead the Hoyas out of the desert, and the G-men actually narrowed the mark to a respectable 31-23 when the Bruins' outside shooting clicked again. A 17-4 run pushed the lead to 21 at 48-27, and by halftime UCLA took a 55-35 lead to the intermission. For many Hoya fans, it was a flashback to a year ago at Providence, where the Friars hit 9 of 12 threes in the first half to lead by 26 at the half. (At least that game wasn't on national TV.)

Georgetown shifted to a zone in the second half with mixed results. Georgetown worked the second half to get the ball inside to Mike Sweetney (19 points, 17 rebounds). UCLA led by as many as 22 but could not maintain its intensity. Three times the Hoyas closed the lead to eight, but closed no further. At 85-69 in the final minutes, the Hoyas' offense suddenly exploded, with the Bruins ill-prepared for the onslaught. UCLA, whose ability to lose leads is well established, saw a 22 point lead shaved to four. Kevin Braswell and Tony Bethel scored on six three pointers in the final two minutes, as the television audience saw the lead drop to 95-91 with 25 seconds to play. UCLA added some free throws to build the lead at the end, and a late Braswell three was off the mark.

Four of UCLA's starting five were in double figures, led by Billy Knight's 20 points on 4 for 5 three point shooting. Matt Barnes scored 19, T.J. Cummings and Dan Gadzuric had 18 each, and Jason Kapono added 16 as the Bruins shot 60 percent in the first half and 52 percent for the game.

"It's no shame to lose to a team like this," said Coach Esherick, and the Bruins are a good team. Georgetown's three losses have each come against teams in the top 15 of the RPI, but they will end the non-conference slate 1-3 against teams in the top 50, versus 8-0 against teams with an average RPI of 238.

Here's a quick review of the Georgetown starting five:

Kevin Braswell: When Braswell sneezes, the Hoyas catch a cold. In his previous three games in the Pacific time zone (UNLV in 1999, Cal in the 2000 NIT's, Maryland in the 2001 NCAA's), Braswell posted a combined 9 for 36 shooting and 4 for 20 from three point range, all of which were losses of 11 or fewer points. His 22 points Saturday obscures a 1 for 10 three point shooting mark entering the final two minutes of play. Braswell was often out of position and outsized by the UCLA guards.

Gerald Riley: With 18 points in 23 minutes, Riley might have played his best game to date as a Hoya offensively, though his perimeter defense continues to be exploited by opponents.

Wesley Wilson: Played for ten minutes of scoreless, ineffective play. "It looked like he needed rest," said Coach Esherick in a post-game news conference.

Victor Samnick: His bad shots and poor defense hurt Georgetown early. Samnick's 1 for 7 shooting and lack of defensive rebounding were a negative against the UCLA front line.

Mike Sweetney: 19 points, 17 rebounds in 25 minutes helped the Hoyas stay close when it counted. Sweetney is still not at 100%, but played like it Saturday.

Here are post-game links:

Official releases from both schools following the game can be found at the Georgetown and UCLA web sites.

Virginia 61, Georgetown 55 12/20/01

No, it wasn't the Game of the Decade, but the result was the same.

The outcome was a 61-55 loss to Virginia that, while a great game for the fans, showcased numerous lost opportunities for the homestanding Hoyas, exemplified by a rebounding clinic by Virginia that left the Hoya fandom somewhere between bewilderment and outright embarrassment.

Both teams opened play very tight, befitting a game that was starting to build toward hype of its own. As Virginia began to step up, the Hoyas seemed flat footed. An 11-0 run powered the Cavaliers (7-0) to a 19-9 lead, carried by an astounding 18 to 4 rebound advantage. Second chance points built the lead to as many as 14 at 26-12, where the Hoyas proceeded to miss 12 straight shots and go over nine minutes without a field goal.

The Hoya drought was not due to stupid shooting, just unlucky ones. However, with a late run, the Hoyas closed to 32-24 at the half, not far removed from a 33-23 deficit in the 1982 game.

Virginia continued to hit the boards against the slow-footed Hoyas in the second half. At one point, 18 of UVa.'s 42 points came off of second 9and third) chances. Georgetown began a more consistent offensive set in the second that narrowed the lead to 4-6 points throughout most of the second half.

The Hoyas closed to four on six different occasions, but two are notable. At 53-49 with 5:03 to play, Georgetown was tagged with an intentional foul, giving Virginia two free throws and the ball. Equally disappointing, if not more so, was closing the lead to 57-53 with 1:33 to play, where Kevin Braswell missed a one and one that would have closed the lead to two. Virginia extended the lead to eight, and took the win before a large contingent at the near-neutral confines of MCI Center.

Chris Williams scored 17 for Virginia, leading all scorers, many on second chance baskets. Roger Mason, Jr. scored 16 for the Cavs, including 10 of the team's last 16 points. In all four Cavaliers were in double figures, while Tony Bethel led the Hoyas with 12 points.

So what went wrong?

In predictable Georgetown fashion, outside shooting abandoned the G-men late. From an almost respectable 40% shooting clip in the rest of the game, the Hoyas ended 4-18 from three, missing the last eight three point shots they attempted. If any one of the eight hits, it's a different game down the stretch...but counting on the three is fool's gold for veteran Georgetown fans.

The Blue and Gray can look to some unexpected performances from the game. The expectations of a dominant Wesley Wilson were short lived--even with six blocks, he finished 2-8 from the field with seven points, and gave UVa. too many inside breaks.

Held in check in the first half, Mike Sweetney finished with a unsatisfying 10 points. Kevin Braswell's big game was a big bust, going 2 for 14, 1 of 8 from three. The trio of Gerald Riley, Harvey Thomas, and Courtland Freeman played a combined 37 minutes and collected one field goal and one rebound.

If veterans went awry, two freshmen guards offered a look into the future. Drew Hall had two of GU's four three pointers and held steady in the backcourt, while Tony Bethel (12 points) had a breakout performance.

Virginia is a very good team and Hoya fans can be disappointed, but not despondent over the loss. The UCLA game will be another test, and the soft schedule could put GU in a bind if they don't earn a 2-2 split in the games that people will remember in March.

Post game links follow below:

1982 Virginia-Georgetown Game Remembered 12/19/01

In many ways, the Georgetown-Virginia game evokes memories of a another era in college basketball, when centers ruled the landscape, the uniforms were a little tighter, and places like the Capital Centre were home to great moments in the sport.

The Dec. 11, 1982 game was unlike any college basketball event since the 1968 UCLA-Houston clash, and probably none since--it simply captivated the country. It was #1 versus #2, the three-time consensus player of the year against the nation's most exciting sophomore, the established ACC and the upstarts from the Big East, a conference but three years old. It also marked the first big game for cable television, a turning point in broadcast coverage of the game. The Washington Post has a review of the 1982 game in Thursday's editions.

Virginia won the game, 68-63, even if the enduring image of the game is Patrick Ewing's dunk right across the outstretched arm of Ralph Sampson. Other facts from the game are now forgotten. For instance, few remember Virginia shooting 24 for 28 from the line to put the game away, or that Georgetown started two freshmen and three sophomores. In fact, of the ten starters that evening, all ten were selected in the NBA draft. How many teams could say that today?

Tonight, at halftime, TBS will honor Patrick Ewing and Ralph Sampson from that 1982 battle. A world away, former players like Ken Lambiotte and David Dunn might be watching the game, telling their kids that they were there, too.

Here is the box score from that game:

            MIN  2FG   FT  REB  A PF PTS
Robinson     30   1-7  5-6   8  0  1  7
Mullen       15   2-3  0-0   1  0  0  4
Sampson      37 10-17  3-3  16  0  2 23
Wilson       25   2-7  6-7   2  3  4 10
Carlisle     36   3-6  3-4   3  5  1  9
Stokes       25   3-5  1-2   3  1  5  7
Miller       16   1-6  2-2   2  1  1  4
Edelin       12   0-0  2-2   3  1  5  2
Newburg       1   0-0  0-0   0  0  0  0
Lambiotte     1   0-0  0-0   0  0  0  0
Merrifield    2   0-1  2-2   0  0  0  2
TOTALS          22-52 24-28 38 11 19 68

            MIN  2FG   FT  REB  A PF PTS
Jones        33   5-11 0-1   9  0  2 10
Martin       31   3-11 3-4   6  0  2  9
Ewing        37   6-14 4-6   8  2  5 16
Jackson      23   4-8  6-7   2  3  4 10
Wingate      28   5-14 2-4   3  3  4 12
Dalton       11   1-2  2-3   3  0  2  4
G. Smith     20   1-1  0-0   2  2  4  2
Broadnax     15   1-7  0-0   2  1  1  2
Dunn          1   0-0  0-0   0  0  0  0
Blue          1   0-0  0-0   0  0  0  0
TOTALS          26-68 11-18 33 11 23 63
Georgetown 99, Howard 80 12/17/01

In their final tune-up before a pair of Top-25 opponents, the Georgetown Hoyas made a statement heading into Thursday's John Thompson Classic. With its starters shooting 64% from the field and 85 percent from the line, the Hoyas claimed a 99-80 win over Howard before a smaller than anticipated crowd of 5,089 at MCI Center.

The Bison (5-5) came into the game with a two game winning streak, and despite spotting the G-men an 8-0 lead, took the game to the Hoyas early. With 5:04 to play, the Bison held a surprising 33-24 lead over the 16th-ranked Hoyas. Georgetown responded with three pointers from Drew Hall and Kevin Braswell to close the lead to three, and ended the half on an overall 17-2 run to lead by six, 41-35.

The Bison closed to four at 47-43 but the Hoyas answered with a 7-0 run to grow the lead to double digits, where it remained the balance of the game. Howard posted 32 fouls in the game, and as three Howard starters fouled out, the Georgetown starters stole the show. Mike Sweetney posted his sixth double-double in ten games, with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and a 9 for 10 effort at the line. Wesley Wilson scored 22 points in 28 minutes, while senior Kevin Braswell had a great game--21 points on 7 for 11 shooting, 5 steals, and 5 assists.

Howard was led by 23 points from Aki Thomas, though leading scorer Kyle Williams (26.6 ppg) was held to just 4 for 20 shooting and 16 points before fouling out. The Bison performed well from the foul line as well, shooting 22 for 24.

Links for post-game coverage:

Georgetown 87, Norfolk State 68 12/15/01

After a sluggish start, the Georgetown Hoyas moved past Norfolk State 87-68 Saturday at MCI Center.

Georgetown opened the game by shooting 5 for 20, a condition noted at GUHoyas.com as being due to "several Hoyas taking exams earlier [in the] morning". As a result, the Spartans (3-7) held a 22-19 lead with 7:37 to play. A three pointer by Kevin Braswell keyed a 7-0 run, but the Hoyas still led by no more than four in the final moments of the half, until freshman Tony Bethel buried a three pointer at the close of the half to extend the lead to 39-32, capping a 13-5 Georgetown run to end the period.

The second half was a different story. Georgetown opened the half on a 15-4 run and was not threatened thereafter. From its poor shooting start, the Hoyas shot 48 percent the remainder of the game and finished 40 percent overall.

One of Norfolk's strategies was force the Hoyas to the free throw line. The strategy backfired, as the Hoyas were 13-17 from the line in the first half and 27-37 overall. "We didn't think they could make the free throws," said NSU coach Wil Jones, an alumnus of American and a former coach at UDC.

Kevin Braswell led all scorers with 19 points and seven assists, with another solid effort from Mike Sweetney (17 points, 11 rebounds) despite continuing problems with a bruised foot. Of particular note in the game was that of freshman Tony Bethel. In his first game in a month due to illness, Bethel scored 10 points in 18 minutes of play.

Links for post-game coverage:

Braswell Nominated For Senior Award 12/12/01

Kevin Braswell has also been nominated for a new national college basketball award for college seniors, according to a link from the Big East conference.

Braswell is one of three Big East players to be nominated for the "Senior CLASS" award. According to the release, "The Senior CLASS Award, which is an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, has a selection criteria that will be based on a number of factors, the most important being that the recipient must have exhausted their four years of eligibility and have fulfilled their commitment to their respective university. In addition, the recipient must be working toward their degree, be in good academic standing and be of sound moral character."

Georgetown 91, Morgan State 65 12/10/01

Mike Sweetney scored a career high 30 points to steer the Georgetown Hoyas past Morgan State 91-65 Monday night at MCI Center.

The Hoyas started off slow in the game, shooting 5 for 16. As a result, Morgan State (0-7) took a 17-15 lead midway in the first half. Sweetney began his run with seven straight points to build a five point lead, but the Hoyas still couldn't shake the Bears early. Morgan's first half shooting was enough to trail only 39-30 at the half, but their luck would run out soon thereafter.

Georgetown opened the second half with an 18-2 run that built the lead to 57-41, and extended the lead to 20 midway through the second half. The lead stood the rest of the game. Sweetney suffered a bruised ankle and left the game midway through the second half after scoring a career high 30 points, leaving the scoring to Wesley Wilson (18 points), Kevin Braswell (12) and Harvey Thomas (12). Georgetown's defense also played smart in the second, following a trend from the South Carolina in holding down opponent free throw shooting in the second half. Morgan was 7-9 in the first half on free throws, but took only two free throws in the final 20 minutes.

Sweetney told post-game reporters that the ankle was OK, and he is expected to play Saturday when the Hoyas continue their MEAC tour with Norfolk State.

Links for post-game coverage:

Georgetown 70, South Carolina 68 12/6/01
"During the brief Georgetown timeout which followed, the raucous South Carolina student section taunted Braswell mercilessly. But Braswell calmly took the inbounds pass, let the clock run under 10 seconds and then went to work. After icing the game with his master stroke, Braswell then turned and pointed to his tormentors, joyously shouting, "I told you so, baby. I told you so." --Washington Times

Let's call that a "quality" win.

Fighting back injuries and foul trouble, the Georgetown Hoyas won back some believers Thursday night at South Carolina, where Kevin Braswell's jumper with 2.2 seconds left earned the G-men a hard fought 70-68 road win. Much like last season's buzzer-beater over Arkansas, the Hoyas put themselves in a position to win and took advantage of it at the end.

There were 24 lead changes in the game, which saw no team lead by more than five points. Georgetown took an early lead on the strength of its inside game, while the Gamecocks' first half free throw shooting (11 for 11) kept them in the game. When Kevin Braswell picked up his third foul with 4:51 to play in the first half, it seemed an ominous sign for the Hoyas, leading 28-25. With Braswell on the bench, Drew Hall and trenton Hillier filled in well, and Gerald Riley's three pointer at the end of the half gave the Hoyas their biggest lead of the game at 35-30.

South Carolina (5-4) opened with a 7-0 run before the Hoyas tightened the game. Braswell was tagged with his fourth foul with over 17 minutes left in the game, a fourth foul followed on Harvey Thomas a minute later, and the Hoyas were in a dogfight. The tandem of Wesley Wilson and Mike Sweetney hammered inside, scoring the first 19 points of the second half to keep the hoyas in the game. while South Carolina struggled from outside for much of the half. Sweetney, after only 14 minutes of action in three prior games due to a sore Achilles tendon, finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and zero fouls. Wilson scored 19 points on 8-11 shooting.

With 3:39 to play, Georgetown held a 63-59 lead, whereupon a South Carolina shot cut it to 63-61. At 65-61, SC scored, was fouled, missed the free throw, then collected a rebound off the next miss to tie the game, 65-65 with 1:40 to play.

Free throws by Wilson extended the lead to 67-65, whereupon a deep three by SC's Aaron Lucas gave SC the lead, 68-67. Braswell made one of two free throws to tie the score, and the Hoyas regained the ball with 14 seconds to play.

Georgetown fans are well aware of the "Braswell finish", where the senior guard runs the clock down to one shot. This time, following a time out, Braswell found a seam on the right wing, just inside the three point arc, hitting the shot with 2.2 seconds left. A desperation South Carolina three was short, and Georgetown took the win before 10,023 in attendance.

It's important to note how much everyone contributed--the big men inside, guards Hall and Hillier in tough circumstances with Braswell out, Riley's big three at the end of the half. Just as important was Georgetown's foul situation--the G-men never let the Gamecocks into the bonus in the second half. From an 11-11 foul shooting clinic in the first, SC was held to only two free throws in the second half. Well done!

"A lesser team would have crumbled in that atmosphere," said South Carolina coach Dave Odom. "Georgetown didn't. You have to give them credit for that."

Here are links to the game:

Jack The Bulldog: Commercials Are Hard Work 12/4/01

The HOYA recently published an interview with Jack the Bulldog--no, not the dog itself, but the human mascot.

The story recounts Jack's work on a commercial currently being seen for "ESPN: The Magazine", where a pre-taping injury nearly knocked the bulldog senseless.


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