Georgetown Basketball History: Classic Games
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From a 2002 article on HoyaSaxa.com, here are recaps of classic Georgetown games over the past quarter century:

1974-1975


Georgetown 62, West Virginia 61
WVU Coliseum, Morgantown, WV: ECAC South Championship
  • Down one with under 10 seconds left, freshman Derrick Jackson connects on an 18 foot shot with :02 left. The basket gives the Hoyas an improbable 62-61 win in front of 14,000 hostile Mountaineers. The ECAC-South title entitled the Hoyas to its first NCAA bid in 32 years.

    Central Michigan 77, Georgetown 75
    Alabama Coliseum, Tuscaloosa, AL, NCAA Mideast Regional

  • As Hoya fans know by now, for every moment of exultation, there are also a few...OK, more than a few moments of complete agony. As the 1975 Hoyas entered the NCAA, they played Dan Roundfield and the Central Michigan Chippewas, with the winner to face #2 ranked Kentucky. With a tie score, no time left, and for no apparent reason, an offensive foul was called on Georgetown's Jon Smith. With the foul, CMU added two free throws and won the game 77-75.

    1975-1976


    Georgetown 68, George Washington 63
    WVU Coliseum, Morgantown, WV: ECAC South Championship
  • The Colonials stood on the brink of their first NCAA bid in 15 years, while the Hoyas had lost eight of its last eleven in the city series. The backcourt efforts of Jon Smith and Derrick Jackson allowed the Hoyas to their second straight NCAA bid, firmly establishing Georgetown ahead of GW as the area's rising basketball power.

    1977-1978


    Georgetown 83, Detroit 82
    McDonough Gymnasium, Washington, DC
  • A number of readers pointed to this game as a classic. The nationally ranked Titans, featuring John Long, Terry Duerod and Terry Tyler, arrived at McDonough with the nation's longest winning streak of the season. With Georgetown trailing with under a minute to play, the Hoyas upset the Titans 83-82, to keep their own post-season hopes alive at 16-4. The Washington Post's lead sports photo of Craig Shelton dunking over Tyler was the talk of the town.

    Georgetown 78, George Washington 77 (OT)
    McDonough Gymnasium, Washington, DC

  • Perhaps its most memorable game of the city rivalry came at this game. The Colonials took the lead with :02 left and Thompson put in seldom-seen Craig Esherick in the final moments. Esherick caught the inbounds pass at halfcourt, then threw up a 40 footer at the buzzer that tied the game. The Hoyas won in overtime, 78-77. Though Esherick had another shot to force an overtime against N.C. State, the play rivals even Derrick Jackson's game winner as the shot of the decade.

    Georgetown 70, Virginia 68 (OT)
    University Hall, Charlottesville, VA, NIT 1st Round

  • This comeback was capped by Hoya guard Mike Riley drawing an offensive foul off an inbounds play with seconds remaining. Riley sank both free throws to give the Hoyas an 70-68 win and their first post season win in three seasons.

    North Carolina State 86, Georgetown 85 (OT)
    Madison Square Garden, New York; NIT Championship Semifinal

  • The Hoyas stood on the brink of their first NIT final, leading 85-84 in overtime. Forty feet from the goal, State's Clyde Austin sends up a last second shot to beat the Hoyas 86-85. In the third place game, the Hoyas fall to Rutgers, ending a wild season at 23-8.

    1979-1980


    Georgetown 97, Boston College 92 (OT)
    Roberts Center, Chestnut Hill, MA
  • Perhaps the greatest comeback in Georgetown basketball history. Down eight with 1:09 to go, the Hoyas clawed back. A layup. A steal and a layup. A BC offensive foul led to two foul shots and a Hoya jumper narrowed the count to two. BC then made one of two free throws to build the lead to three with :08 left--and remember, this was the era before the three point shot. Center Mike Frazier is fouled taking a shot with one second left, and connects on the free throw for the tying score. Even with four men fouled out in the OT, Georgetown wins 97-92 before a national ESPN audience.

    Georgetown 52, Syracuse 50
    Manley Field House, Syracuse, NY

  • The last home game at Manley Field House was supposed to be a celebration of the nation's longest win streak (57) and Syracuse's near clinching of the Big East regular season crown. Down 14 at the half, the Hoyas went on a 15-5 run late in the game. A goaltending call against the Orange tied the score at 50, and Eric Floyd is fouled on an errant SU toss with :05 left. Floyd's free throws are good, and Georgetown's upset of #3-ranked Syracuse breaks the hallowed "Streak". Thompson's legendary quote in the post-game press conference still rings in the ears of Orangebloods: "Manley Field House is officially closed." Thus began the greatest rivalry in Eastern basketball.

    Iowa 81, Georgetown 80
    The Spectrum, Philadelphia, PA, 1980 Eastern Regional Final

  • The 1980 NCAA's were a wild ride--a near upset at the hands of Jim Valvano's Iona Gaels, an emotional victory over #2 seeded Maryland that established Georgetown's place as the area's top program. But the regional final against Iowa stands alone. Leading by 10 at the half and 14 in the second half, the Hoyas shot 68.2% in the second half led by Eric Floyd's 31 point MVP performance. Amazingly, it was not enough. Iowa connects on 17 of its final 21 shots, makes 15 of 15 free throws, then Steve Waite connects on a three point play when Craig Shelton (with his hand in the net) fouls Waite on what became the last play of the game. Iowa advanced to the Final Four, 81-80.

    1980-1981


    Georgetown 60, Connecticut 58
    McDonough Gymnasium, Washington, DC
  • The season finale featured a career performance by senior Mike Frazier, whose rebound and block in the final seconds preserved the victory. Over 100 students then gathered after the game for a impromptu pep rally outside Frazier's campus apartment. It is otherwise remembered, however, as the game when "Jonathan the Husky", the UConn mascot, was ejected from the building for starting a fight with Jack the Bulldog during a timeout.

    1981-1982


    Georgetown 72. St. John's 42
    Madison Square Garden, New York
  • This was Patrick Ewing's first game in New York and the first Garden doubleheader in over a decade. The #9-ranked Redmen arrived as major favorites over the Hoyas and their unknown center. In the first half, the Hoyas score 41 of the first 50 points of the half--the Redmen were down 41-9 and used four of its five timeouts in the first half alone! The stunned New York crowd witnessed a 72-42 blowout of the Redmen, and Ewing's reputation began to reach national attention.

    Georgetown 63, Missouri 51
    McDonough Gymnasium, Washington, DC

  • The last scheduled game in McDonough Gym history is a classic. An announced crowd of 4,620 fans (but closer to 5,000) pack the 3,600 seat configuration to see the #4-ranked Missouri Tigers and center Steve Stipanovich. "The fire marshal must be out of town today!" yelled NBC's Al McGuire to a national TV audience above the noise of the record crowd. The Tigers are outhustled at every turn and Georgetown wins rather handily, 63-51. A classic at game's end--a soaring Ewing dunk misses the basket but sails 20 feet in the air, which got a bigger crowd response than a dunk itself. The call is shown three more times on TV's instant replay to marvel at the young center's strength and potential.

    [Some 15 years have now passed since games were on the campus where the team and their student fans belong--a true shame.]

    Georgetown 69, Oregon State 45
    Marriott Center, Provo, UT; NCAA Western Regional Final

  • The Hoyas confirm their reservation to the 1982 Final Four in record-breaking fashion--shooting 74.4% from the field (29 for 39), completely overwhelming the second-seeded and #4-ranked Oregon State Beavers by 24 points. The shooting mark is a Georgetown single game record and is the third best in NCAA tournament history.

    Georgetown 50, Louisville 46
    Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA; 1982 NCAA Championship Semi-Final

  • Lost in the legend of the 1982 final was a superbly played semifinal against the 1980 national champions, a defensive tug-of-war that featured numerous standout performances on both sides. Georgetown prevailed down the stretch of the game and its MVP made the difference with a career defensive effort. Two days later, Fred Brown's heroics in the Louisville game were altogether forgotten.

    North Carolina 63, Georgetown 62
    Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, LA; 1982 NCAA Championship Final

  • If the triple overtime 1957 NCAA final between North Carolina and Kansas was the greatest championship game, this is the penultimate. Before the largest crowd to date to ever see a basketball game, five future NBA all-stars and ten future pros collided in a titanic struggle. The teams battled relentlessly, with no more than four points separating the two all game. With 0:16 left, a 18 footer by an little known freshmen named "Mike" Jordan gave the Tar Heels the lead, confirmed after an errant Fred Brown's pass on the next possession. Thompson's hug of support, however, spoke volumes about the Georgetown "family". It was--and is--a game for the ages.

    1982-1983


    Virginia 68, Georgetown 63
    Capital Centre, Landover, MD
  • Billed as the "Game of the Decade", it was the first cable TV sports event of its kind. A veteran Virginia team prevailed, but the enduring image is of Patrick Ewing slamming the ball right over three-time All-America Ralph Sampson, waiting to make the block. The play established Ewing, not Sampson, as the most intimidating center of the era.

    1983-1984


    Georgetown 82, Syracuse 71 (OT)
    Madison Square Garden, New York; Big East Tournament Final
  • A heated and historic game between the Big East's superpowers. Dwayne (Pearl) Washington scores 27 for the Orange, while Ewing, coming off an 11 for 12 performance the night before over St. John's, scores 27 points and 16 rebounds. With the Orangemen leading, Georgetown's Michael Graham appeared to be ejected for swinging at SU's Andre Hawkins, but the call is reversed. After the overtime loss, a furious Jim Boeheim knocks over a chair in the press conference, saying "The best team did not win tonight!"

    Georgetown 37, Southern Methodist 36
    Friel Court, Pullman, WA; NCAA Western Regional

  • Many fans remember that if it hadn't been for this game, there would have been no NCAA title. A scrappy SMU team and a slow-motion Hoya offense led Georgetown to a narrow 35-34 lead with seconds left. On the free throw, Gene Smith missed the shot but Patrick Ewing gets into the lane and tips in the rebound. On the next possession, SMU scores what could have been the game winner had it not been for the rebound. Georgetown advanced--but barely.

    Georgetown 53, Kentucky 40
    The Kingdome, Seattle, WA, NCAA Championship Semifinal

  • Is this the greatest defensive performance in NCAA history? Kentucky's "Twin Towers" of Sam Bowie and Melvin Turpin had forced Patrick Ewing into foul trouble and the Wildcats led comfortably at 27-15 with 3:06 in the first half. Then, the Wildcats did not score for the rest of the half, and the Hoya defense held the #2-ranked Wildcats scoreless for the first 9:55 of the second half! In the Hoyas' 53-40 win, Kentucky was 3 for 33 (9%) in the second half, with All-Americans Bowie and Turpin finishing a combined 0-12. In a post-game quote, Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall attributed his team's lack of second half scoring to "extra-cerrestrial (sic) forces." No, they were just Hoya forces, plain and simple.

    Georgetown 84, Houston 75
    The Kingdome, Seattle, WA, NCAA Championship Final

  • One of the few final games of the decade not decided in the final seconds, the enduring moment in this game came in the last minute. Two years earlier Fred Brown was hugged by Coach Thompson after an errant pass to James Worthy. In this game, Thompson hugged him once more, this time as NCAA champions. Georgetown became the first Eastern school to win the NCAA title since 1954, and only the second Catholic school to hold the title since 1963.

    1984-1985


    Georgetown 85, St. John's 69
    Madison Square Garden, New York
  • Since St. John's broke Georgetown's 29 game win streak the month earlier, this battle between the #1 ranked Redmen and #2 Hoyas was the most anticipated game of the season. It was known as the "Sweater Game"--St. John's Carnesecca had been wearing an ugly sweater for good luck during the Redmen's rise to #1 and at this game, Thompson is greeted with a appreciative roar by the St. John's crowd after he enters the Garden in the same pattern sweater as Carnesecca. The levity broke the tension and whatever luck St. John's had enjoyed. The Hoyas take the game with ease, then beat SJU in the Big East final as well as the NCAA national semifinal.

    Villanova 66, Georgetown 64
    Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY; NCAA Championship Final

  • The Ewing era ends with Villanova shooting 22-28 from the field and 22-27 from the free throw line, missing only one shot the entire second half. Enough said.

    1986-1987


    Georgetown 83, Syracuse 81
    Capital Centre, Landover, MD
  • Without a reliable big man, John Thompson surprises everyone by matching 6-4 guard Perry McDonald in the pivot against Syracuse's 6-11 Rony Seikaly. The fearless McDonald scores a career high 23 against Seikaly, and wins the game at the buzzer over the Orangemen before a national TV audience.

    Georgetown 82, Ohio State 79
    The Omni, Atlanta, GA; NCAA Southeast Regional Second Round

  • When he was recruited, Charles Smith was told he'd never be more than a bench player. Averaging less than 5.0 ppg coming into the NCAA game against Ohio State, Smith's career changed overnight. With the Hoyas trailing by as many as 21 in the second half, Smith scores a then-career high 22 and the Hoyas roar back to defeat the Buckeyes and advance in the NCAA tournament.

    1987-1988


    Georgetown 69, Syracuse 68
    Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY
  • The Hoyas upset the Orangemen twice this season on last second wins. The most memorable came in the Carrier Dome. Syracuse had taken the lead with :08 left. "Charles Smith will take it all the way!" pronounced CBS' Billy Packer, and that is precisely what the 6-0 guard did, weaving right through the Orange defenses for a finger roll lay-up at the buzzer.

    Georgetown 66, Louisiana State 63
    Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, CT; NCAA East Regional

  • Smith wasn't through with last second heroics, though. Tied in the final seconds versus LSU, the Hoyas called timeout with :03 left. Smith got the inbounds but couldn't find a teammate with an open look to the basket. He launched a 30 footer that banked off the glass and gave Georgetown the win.

    1988-1989


    Georgetown 80, Providence 77
    Providence Civic Center, Providence, RI
  • With Coach Thompson sitting out the game in the dispute over NCAA Proposition 42, the Hoyas battled back from a 14 point second half deficit. Charles Smith gets a career high 35 points including the game winning basket with :05 left.

    Louisiana State 82, Georgetown 80
    Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans,LA

  • After a loss by Arizona earlier in the week, the Hoyas could reach the #1 ranking with a win against Dale Brown's Tigers. Before the largest paid crowd in NCAA history (64,144), the Hoyas erased a ten point deficit to lead by four with 2:08 left. LSU tied the score and put up a shot with :05 left that missed, but Ricky Blanton's tip-in gave LSU the upset win in John Thompson's first visit to the Superdome since the 1982 NCAA final.

    Georgetown 50, Princeton 49
    Providence Civic Center, Providence, RI; NCAA Eastern Regional First Round

  • Princeton...the very name alone sends chills down the spine of many a Hoya fan. The top-seeded Hoyas were humbled by the champions of the "Ancient Eight" and their 1950's era offense; of Princeton's 21 field goals, 15 were layups off back-door screens. Only a tremendous performance by Alonzo Mourning and his last second blocked shot (which many Tiger partisans still say was a foul) prevented the greatest upset in college basketball history.

    1989-1990


    Syracuse 89, Georgetown 87 (OT)
    Carrier Dome, Syracuse, NY
  • The largest on-campus crowd in NCAA history (33,015) saw a wild game, including only the third ejection in coach John Thompson's 18 year tenure. Dwayne Bryant scores a career high 25 and the Hoyas lead go ahead by two with :05 left. Then, with time expiring and little hope for a long distance shot, Georgetown senior Sam Jefferson inexplicably fouls Syracuse's Billy Owens, allowing the Orange to send the game into overtime with free throws and to an eventual win.

    1990-1991


    Georgetown 79, Duke 74
    Capital Centre, Landover, MD; ACC-Big East Challenge Series
  • It was only the second meeting between the academic schools since 1933, but Hoya fans saw a measure of payback for the 1989 NCAA regional final loss. The Duke triumvirate of Grant Hill, Bobby Hurley, and Christian Laettner are held for a combined 9 for 42, while the entire team shot 32% for the game. Alonzo Mourning goes for 22 points and Dikembe Mutombo gets 13 rebounds in one of the duo's best games ever.

    1991-1992


    Georgetown 60, Connecticut 58
    Capital Centre, Landover, MD
  • One of the rare last second wins in recent years. With the score tied and UConn holding for the last shot, Joey Brown steals an errant pass at halfcourt and drives for a layup as time expires. The win maintains Georgetown's NCAA momentum and is critical in Georgetown 1992 regular season title.

    Syracuse 54, Georgetown 52
    Madison Square Garden, New York; Big East Tournament Final

  • Led by Alonzo Mourning's 23 points, the Hoyas erased an eleven point deficit in the final minutes to tie the game with 0:24 left. Syracuse's David Johnson hits a shot with four seconds left to give Syracuse its first finals win over the Hoyas in four tries.

    1992-1993


    Georgetown 45, Alabama-Birmingham 41
    Madison Square Garden, New York; NIT Championship Semifinal
  • For a school accustomed to NCAA success, little about the NIT might be considered "classic", but two games deserve mention. In the semifinal game vs. UAB, the Hoyas trailed 38-22 with 13:48 to play, but the Hoya defense held the Blazers to three points in the next four minutes and no points in the final 9:24 to prevail, 45-41.

    Minnesota 62, Georgetown 61
    Madison Square Garden, New York; NIT Championship Final

  • In the final against Minnesota, the Hoyas fell behind 62-53 with 4:27 to play, but began a comeback while holding the Gophers without a point the rest of the game. Down 62-61 with three seconds to play, Kevin Millen's jumper fell short and the NIT title went to Minnesota, 62-61.

    1994-1995


    Georgetown 77, Villanova 52
    USAir Arena, Landover, MD
  • A struggling Georgetown team met the #9 ranked Villanova Wildcats on Washington's Birthday before a national television audience on ESPN and president Bill Clinton in attendance. The Hoyas scored the first 11 points of the game and the Wildcats were routed, 77-52. Allen Iverson scored 26 for the Hoyas, which forced 23 Villanova turnovers and 16 steals. Later that week, Othella Harrington goes for 27 against #17 Syracuse, as the Hoyas battled from 14 back to win 81-78 before 31,143 in the Carrier Dome.

    Georgetown 53, Weber State 51
    Leon County Civic Center, Tallahassee, FL; NCAA Southeast Regional Second Round

  • The defining moment of the season, and perhaps the decade, came in the second round of the 1995 NCAA tournament. The sixth-seeded Hoyas were struggling with #13 seed Weber State, which sought to be the fifth straight team to knock out Georgetown in the second round since 1990. With the score tied at 51, Weber State's Ruben Nembhard is fouled with eight seconds to go. Uncharacteristically, Nembhard misses the front shot, and Allen Iverson races down the court for a last second score. Iverson's toss is short, but Don Reid grabs the sinking shot and lays it up at the buzzer to give Georgetown a 53-51 win. As the team mobs Reid on the court, Coach Thompson does an impromptu victory dance and the Hoyas advanced to the "Sweet 16" for the first time since 1989. Even with a subsequent 74-64 loss to #4 seeded North Carolina in the next round, Hoya fans place Reid's shot as the highlight of the year.

    1995-1996


    Georgetown 77, Connecticut 65
    USAir Arena, Landover, MD
  • The two classic games of a great season begin and end with Connecticut. The #3 Huskies came to USAir Arena on Washington's Birthday seeking to set the all-time streak for consecutive Big East wins held by the 1984-1985 Hoyas. Instead, the sold out crowd and ESPN audience saw the Hoyas crush the seemingly invincible Huskies 77-65, capped off by 6-0 Allen Iverson's soaring dunk early in the second half. All-American Ray Allen was held to two points in the first half and the usually solid Husky offense committed 20 turnovers.

    Connecticut 75, Georgetown 74
    Madison Square Garden, New York; Big East Tournament Final

  • In the Big East tournament final between the same two clubs, Hoya fans went through another heart-wrenching loss. Leading 74-63 with 4:46 to play, the Hoyas' delay game caused them not to score a point the rest of the game. With the Hoyas clinging to a one point lead and only 0:13 to play, Ray Allen's off-balanced throw to beat the shot clock went through the nets and gave the Huskies the lead, 75-74. Two attempts by Georgetown in the final seconds were not enough as UConn won its third Big East title and the Hoyas lost its fourth final since 1991.

    1996-1997


    Georgetown 78, Villanova 67
    USAir Arena, Landover, MD
  • Following a humbling 89-71 home loss to Pitt, The Hoyas stood at 11-7 with hopes of even the NIT hanging precariously. A game with Villanova, the Big East's toughest team, followed by six of its last eight games on the road. Georgetown opened up on fire, and led by as many as 21 before Villanova went on a 17-0 run early in the second half. The Wildcats got within two at 53-51, but the Hoya defense stood tall. A 7-0 Hoya run late in the game preserved the upset, and sparked the Hoyas amazing February streak, which saw them win 9 of its final 10 games to earn an at-large NCAA berth.

    1997-1998


    Georgetown 71, Florida 69
    O'Connell Center, Gainesville, FL
  • In one of the most frustrating years in recent history, perhaps this first round NIT game stands out. Florida was dangerous because of its three point shooting, but strong defense and a robust passing offense allowed Georgetown to maintain a lead throughout much of the game. But as has been the case so many times this season, the Hoyas could not hold the lead. Georgetown had a 69-62 lead with 2:15 to play, but failed to score on three straight possessions. Florida scored seven points in the next 1:10 and a late three pointer tied the game. The Hoyas lost the ball again, and Florida called time out with 0:22 to play to set up the presumed game winner. As Florida's Kenyon Weeks drove for the winning basket...well, let Rich Chvotkin's radio call that night tell the story:

      "Eight seconds to go...Weeks trying to drive, heads towards the hoop, puts it up...Stolen away by Watkins! To Bolden..Bolden across the time line, front court to Boubacar...Boubacar turns..down the lane, to Long! HOYAS WIN! HOYAS WIN! HOYAS WIN! HOYAS WIN! HOYAS WIN! HOYAS WIN! HOYAS WIN! HOYAS WIN! HOYAS WIN! HOYAS WIN! HOYAS WIN! HOYAS WIN! HOYAS WIN! HOYYAAS WINNNN!

    1998-1999


    Villanova 93, Georgetown 90 (2OT)
    First Union Center, Philadelphia, PA
  • A comeback that should have ranked among the finest in Georgetown basketball history is otherwise lost among the most disarming losses of the decade. >Missing its first 10 shots of the game and trailing 13-0 to start the game, the Hoyas look ill-prepared to match the Wildcats at the outset. A series of small runs narrowed the count to 39-30 at the half, but with 13:55 to play, the Hoyas were down 55-38. From then, the Hoyas engineered a remarkable 19-0 run to take the lead, led by 11 of Nat Burton's game-high 21 points. Eleven ties and 14 lead changes followed, even as the Hoyas lost three big men to foul trouble. By game's end, the tallest player on the court was 6-7 Rhese Gibson. In the second OT, Georgetown leads 90-87 with 14 seconds to play. Anthony Perry misses a free throw, and Villanova has one chance--a three pointer. To everyone's dismay, Nova's Howard Brown gets away from Rhese Gibson in the zone and hits a 22 footer with 2.6 seconds remaining. With Nat Burton calling a timeout (unseen by officials), Daymond Jackson lobs the ball in the direction of Anthony Perry, which is promptly stolen by Brooks Sales, flipped to Jermaine Medley, who launches a 28 footer at the buzzer.

    1999-2000

    Georgetown 72, Syracuse 67
    Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
  • In the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament, The Hoyas held top-seeded Syracuse essentially scoreless during two early stretches of each half to build a manageable seven point lead over the #8 team in the nation and the top-seed in the tournament. On offense, Lee Scruggs (9-14 from the field, 20 points) had a superb game, with shots that Syracuse simply could not stop. Kevin Braswell (20 points) and Demetrius Hunter controlled the backcourt, holding SU playmaker Jason Hart to 3 for 10 shooting. The Garden crowd didn't seem to believe what was going on until Braswell found Boumtje-Boumtje for an inside dunk with 4:29 to play to take a 60-51 lead. At that point, the Garden crowd erupted with the chance that #1 Syracuse would fall, and to its hated rival, no less. Syracuse closed to within three but no further. The stat of the day was simple--Georgetown connected on 27 of 31 free throws (yes, that's right), while Syracuse missed 9 of its 18 free throw shots. A late deflection by Braswell sealed the huge upset, marking only the second time in 19 years that a #1 seed fell in the quarterfinals.

    Georgetown 115, Virginia 111 (3 OT)
    University Hall, Charlottesville, VA

  • Click here for a full report of this classic game.

    2000-2001

    Georgetown 72, Syracuse 61
    MCI Center, Washington DC

    The last time Georgetown had a win this important in February, they closed a field house.

    Twenty one years later, in a game that could have sealed the fate of the 2000-01 season, an inspired team effort propelled the Hoyas to a 72-61 win over Syracuse at MCI Center Saturday, the first win at home over Syracuse in four years and reconfirming the Hoyas' 2001 NCAA tournament hopes.

    Many of the Hoyas' most frustrating losses this season have come as a result of poor starts early in the game, but the G-men opened the game by scoring the game's first seven points. SU closed the gap to 10-9 before Demetrius Hunter's three pointer renewed the Georgetown offense, one of a number of key plays by Hunter that afternoon, despite a nagging injury to his Achilles tendon. Syracuse took a lead at 15-14 that was answered by a three pointer by Lee Scruggs, part of a consistent pattern where the Hoyas would match a Syracuse run throughout the game. The Hoyas took a 36-33 lead at intermission, which could have been more pronounced if not for some poor free throw shooting that dogged the team all afternoon.

    The teams were even through much of the early second half. Georgetown's defense was holding Syracuse down, but while the orange were hitting 90 percent of their free throws, Georgetown's shots were woefully off. The Hoyas shot 3 for 9 in one stretch and 12 of 28 for the game, a season low 42 percent. But Hunter (21 points) set the Hoyas to the lead with back to back three pointers with 11:10 to play, and with foul trouble inside, Syracuse had to play from behind.

    The lead bounced around six to eight points for the next five minutes, and with 5:04 to play Damone Brown's field goal cut the lead to 63-57. It was the last field goal of the afternoon for Syracuse. With expert use of the clock, tough defense, and three consecutive offensive rebounds, the Hoyas built its six point lead to 12 with 2:39 to play. A steal and dunk by Hunter capped the win with 0:38 to play, and Kevin Braswell dribbled out the last 32 seconds of the clock before students overwhelmed the MCI Center security to flood the court--the first such demonstration at a Big East home game ever for the Hoyas.

    Georgetown 63, Arkansas 61
    NCAA First Round, Boise, ID

    Georgetown fans are no stranger to last moment NCAA heartbreak over the years, which makes a game like Thursday's 63-61 win over #7 Arkansas all the more amazing. The Hoyas overcame a seven point second half deficit with a buzzer-beater to defeat Arkansas 63-61, thanks to a defensive stand and a buzzer beater that required official review before the Hoyas headed to the locker room with their first NCAA win since March 17, 1996.

    The game marked only the third time in 22 NCAA tournament appearances that a lower seeded Georgetown team defeated a higher seeded opponent since the introduction of tournament seeding in 1979. The other two were the #9 Hoyas defeating #8 Illinois in the first round of the 1994 tournament, and #3 Georgetown defeating #2 Maryland in the 1980 Eastern regional semifinal.

    The game was billed as featuring Arkansas' vaunted press against Georgetown's height inside, but neither were the factor many had thought. The Hoyas performed well against the press, while the inside game stalled early with bad passing and shot selection. In fact, following a back and forth first half which saw the Razorbacks (20-11) lead 31-30, the trio of Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje, Mike Sweetney, and Wesley Wilson were a combined 0-4. Instead, guard play from Kevin Braswell and Anthony Perry helped keep the Hoyas astride with the Hogs in what announcers called "ugly" despite relatively good shooting on both sides.

    A key moment of the game occurred near the end of halftime, where a malfunctioning buzzer delayed play for almost ten minutes. The problems forced Boise State and NCAA officials to dismantle the horn and the red light over the basket which signals the end of a half. Little did anyone know that these two factors would be so important just twenty minutes later.

    In the second half, Georgetown's inside game reawakened while Arkansas began to drive inside as well. Arkansas took a 47-43 lead midway through the half and extended the lead to 52-45, which was closed to 57-all with just over five minutes to play. Arkansas held a narrowing until the final two minutes, where Kevin Braswell's coast to coast drive gave the Hoyas a 61-59 lead with 1:43 to play. Arkansas' Joe Johnson tied the score at 61 with 0:35.8 seconds remaining, and that .8 was the final act to an improbable finish.

    After a timeout and a pass from Victor Samnick, Burton held the ball with the intent of finding Kevin Braswell for a last second shot, which is practically mandatory for any last second attempt this year. With Braswell contained, Burton opted to go himself, with the senior guard attempting a left handed drive down the stretch as the clock wound down. The shot rolled in at the buzzer...er, horn, and the Hoyas had won.

    Or had they?

    Arkansas officials protested that the shot clock had gone off before the ball left Burton's hand (remember, there were 35.8 seconds left). A two minute review by the officials confirmed that Burton's shot was indeed good.

    "We looked to see if it was a shot clock violation [and] it was not," referee ted Hillary. "The ball was out of his hand [before the shot clock expired]. Time had expired before the ball went through the net."

    The call from Dr. Rich Chvotkin behind the Georgetown microphone was its own classic:

    "Eight seconds, Burton waits, Burton waits, Burton drives.. "It's Good! "It's Good! "It's Good! "It's Good! "It's Good! "It's Good! "It's Good! "My God, It's Good! "My God, It's So Good!"

    Maryland 76, Georgetown 66
    NCAA Western Regional Semifinal, Los Angeles CA

    All good things come to and end, including the 2000-01 season.

    Georgetown could not match the intensity of Maryland down the stretch, falling to the Terrapins 76-66 Thursday night in the much hyped NCAA Western Regional semifinal.

    The game saw lots of elements featuring the good and bad of the 2000-01 season. The Hoyas played well in the first half, opening five point leads on the terrapins and forcing nine Maryland turnovers. Of frustration to players and fans was that the Hoyas could only convert two points out of the nine first half turnovers. Facing a zone near the end of the first half, the Hoyas sagged, with two plays of frustration that lost the lead: an intentional foul on Mike Sweetney that allowed Maryland four points and a six point turnaround, and a missed dunk by Demetrius Hunter that popped in and out of the basket. Maryland began a pattern of picking up numerous offensive rebounds after missed shots, one of which allowed them to take the lead at 38-36 on a second shot at the buzzer.

    Maryland quickly built the lead to nine in the second half, thanks to six early points by Lonnie Baxter (26 points, 14 rebounds). Much is made in the local press Friday about how Baxter was motivated by comments by Georgetown players that he was soft, but Baxter's performance was not that unexpected for a second team All-ACC center. What was unexpected was the inside game of Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje, who appeared tentative inside and failed to adjust to Baxter's play. Boumtje-Boumtje fouled out with no points and three rebounds in 19 minutes of play.

    To their credit, the Hoyas never gave up. Kevin Braswell and Lee Scruggs continued to power the Hoyas back into the game, cutting the lead to 59-56 with under five minutes to play and 67-62 with 3:17 to play. Maryland pulled away with good free throw shooting down the stretch while the Hoyas were forced into three point shooting attempts with predictable results, missing 5 of 6 attempts from three in the last minute.

    2001-2002

    Notre Dame 116, Georgetown 111
    MCI Center, Washington DC

    In a season with more frustrating finishes than in recent memory (four overtime losses, two one point losses), any number of games could be considered memorable, but one stands as a classic.

    In a game that featured 190 shots, 108 rebounds and 72 free throw shots over four overtimes, Georgetown fell to Notre Dame 116-111 at MCI Center. Each team played inspired basketball and each had more than its share of opportunities to win. In the end, Notre Dame was able to maintain its key players on the floor while Georgetown fouled out four of its starting five. Notre Dame took control in the final minute, but for 59 of those 60 minutes, it was a game with more tosses and turns than anyone could have expected.

    Both teams started out crisp in the first half. Georgetown's offensive plan was to punch the ball inside to Mike Sweetney (18 first half points) and Wesley Wilson (10 first half points), both of which were huge. Notre Dame's plan was to shoot well and hit the boards, and they did that as well: at nearly a 60% shooting mark for much of the first half, the Irish led by as many as 12 in the first half, yet the Hoyas parlayed a 7-0 run into intermission to trail 48-43. Of GU's 43 points, 35 came inside the paint.

    The game tightened in the second half, and Georgetown tied the score at 61-all with 13:24 to play. A 7-0 ND run extended the lead to seven, 68-61, but the Hoyas fought back to four with 8:00 to play and tied the game on a three pointer by Drew Hall (3-3 from three) and a foul shot with 7:29 to play. From there defense kicked in on both teams, as both teams combined for 3-20 (15% shooting) the rest of regulation, much of them the result of fierce defense on both sides of the ball. GU led late 84-82 when Matt Carroll tied the score late and the Hoyas held off a late rally to force the game into overtime...the first overtime, that is.

    The first three overtimes were strikingly similar. ND built an early lead, withstood a GU drive, than forged ahead in the last two minutes, only to see the resilient Hoyas bounce back and tie the score. Then, following a defensive stand, Georgetown held the ball for a final shot. Three times the Hoyas could have closed the door, three times they failed.

    In the first OT, Georgetown had the ball with 17 seconds left. Kevin Braswell brought the ball up the court but did not pass the ball, settling for a long shot that rimmed away. In the second, Braswell fared even more poorly, ignoring options in Mike Sweetney and Tony Bethel and launching up a 30 footer that had little chance. In the third OT, Gerald Riley had the ball and a chance to win, but his shot was blocked by Ryan Humphrey and deflected to Kevin Braswell, who sank a 20 footer at the buzzer, only to be waived off for a shot clock violation (the shot clock expired at 0.7 seconds to play).

    The Hoyas were beginning to deplete its resources by the 4th OT. Wesley Wilson had fouled out, Courtland Freeman had been injured, and before too long, Gerald Riley and Kevin Braswell followed. Yet the Hoyas led in the fourth OT when the amazing Mike Sweetney fouled out and with it, Notre Dame took the momentum and built its lead for good.

    But no matter the score, the fans who watched the game saw a true classic. In a game where the two teams were shooting well, rebounding well, and gave up only 13 turnovers each, it was a game that would turn on a dime. Losing Sweetney put the Hoyas in a hole, and when the G-men had their chances earlier, it slipped through their hands.

    [Thanks to all the contributions and suggestions on these classic Hoyas games, including John Walker, Chris Sortwell, Peter Gross, Barry Burns, Dan McQuillen, Tom Mottola, John Klopf, Jim Reed, and Bill Latham.]


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