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During the last decade, two of the longest games in school history were waged: one win, one loss. Here are recaps of each.
On March 15, 2000, Georgetown University and the University of Virginia competed in the greatest toe-to-toe battle in NIT basketball history, broadcast nationally on ESPN for over three hours. Here's a recap of a true team effort which stands alongside the greatest games in Georgetown's athletic history:
The First Half: Georgetown started at a decided disadvantage. Center Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje was sidelined with a foot injury and Victor Samnick was still out from injury, leaving the Hoyas with only nine scholarship players. The Hoyas had every reason to be flat coming into the game, and it showed early. Kevin Braswell started 1 for 6 and missed his first two free throws while Lee Scruggs had two early fouls.
On the other side of the ledger, Virginia was scoring at will, inside and outside. Virginia went on a 14-0 run, and GU might have been run off the court had Demetrius Hunter not connected on four three pointers in the first half. Georgetown was able to tie the score at 29 with 6:36 to play. Still, Virginia surged late and took a comfortable nine point lead at intermission, the most first half points given up by Georgetown all year. Kevin Braswell, with only eight points, had to step it up. Score: Virginia 48, Georgetown 39.
The Second Half: Five minutes into the second half, Virginia had built its lead to 58-43. Out of nowhere, the Hoyas pulled together a 17-2 run on the favored Cavaliers to tie the score at 60-all with under 11 minutes to play. U.Va. took the lead with 7:48 to play and watched as three Hoyas-Hunter, Freeman, and Watkins--foul out late. Amazingly, Virginia's shooting failed them, missing six of seven shots in the final 3:39 of regulation.
Down four with less than two minutes to play, Nat Burton connected on two free throws with 1:48 to play. After stopping the Wahoos on the next possession, Anthony Perry drove to a layup to tie the score with 1:14 to play. In the final moments of the second half, Virginia drove to the basket but was blocked by Lee Scruggs with less than two seconds remaining, and Nat Burton's 50-foot shot bounced off the backboard. Score: Georgetown 77, Virginia 77.
The First Overtime: Virginia opened up strong but allowed Georgetown to hang in there. The Hoyas took the lead 84-83 on a tip-in by Nat Burton, then added two Kevin Braswell free throws to take a three point lead. With center Lee Scruggs limping noticeably and perhaps dehydrating, Georgetown turned to Braswell at nearly every turn. Down to just four scholarship players (Braswell, Perry, Burton, Gibson) and walk-on Hester, the Hoyas took an 88-85 lead to the last moments of overtime, where Hester fouled U.Va's Roger Mason driving to the basket with 14 seconds to play. Mason made the free throw, and the Hoyas could not get off a shot at game's end. Score: Georgetown 88, Virginia 88.
The Second Overtime: In the intermission, Coach Esherick was tagged with a technical foul for complaining about what the TV cameras picked out: when Virginia retrieved the rebound with one second left, a guard called time out in front of the official, yet the wahoos had no time outs. No technical was called on the player, but they called one on Esherick.
With 2:51 to play, Virginia took a 96-93 lead, as an exhausted Scruggs was sent to the bench. What followed brought the crowd to its feet: Anthony Perry hits a three to tie the game at 96, then Virginia's Donald Hand answers with a three. Next possession, Braswell drains the third three pointer in a minute and the game was tied at 99-99. The crowd couldn't believe it. Neither could anyone else!
After a Virginia miss on the following possession, Virginia fouls senior Rhese Gibson, who calmly sinks two free throws among the raucous home crowd for GU to lead 101-99. On its last possession, Chris Williams drove
and connected on a bank shot with 24 seconds to play. Holding for one shot, Georgetown could not get Braswell open and his 24 foot shot was short as the horn sounded.
Not only was Georgetown entering its first triple overtime game since 1955, but Virginia became the first team in 24 years to score 100 points on the Hoyas, a record formerly held by Seton Hall in a 102-91 win over the Hoyas in January, 1976. Score: Georgetown 101, Virginia 101.
The Third Overtime: How much was left in the Hoyas? After nearly three hours, the Hoya road warriors were walking a tightrope: three of its remaining five players had four fouls, and any slip up could put them in a bind. Taking advantage of GU's hesitancy to pick up a cheap foul, Virginia's Chris Williams gave the Cavaliers a 105-101 lead with 3:38 to play. But in a two minute stretch, the Hoyas stopped three U.Va. possessions, allowing Hester, Burton, and Braswell all connected on shots to give GU a 107-105 lead with 2:20 to play.
The teams traded free throws when Virginia drove inside to tie the score at 109 with about 0:40 to play. Coming out of a timeout, Braswell found Hester alone in the corner with 31 seconds left, who unloaded a 22 foot three point stunner, 112-109. It was the first 3 point shot connected by Hester in his two year Georgetown career.
Virginia wasn't done, however. U.Va. had an open look at a three pointer which went around and out, and after 1 of 2 GU free throws, picked up a quick basket on the next possession to close to 113-111. After missing a three point attempt with 6.8 seconds, Virginia fouled Braswell. Braswell missed the second of two free throws, still leaving Virginia a chance at quadruple overtime at 114-111. On the ensuing possession, the Cavaliers threw the ball out of bounds. Anthony Perry took the inbounds pass, was fouled, and made one of two free throws to seal the victory.
Final: Georgetown 115, Virginia 111.
Here's the box score. While you're checking Braswell, Scruggs, and Hester, don't overlook 49 percent field goal shooting, a career high 13 rebounds from senior Rhese Gibson (in 38 minutes of play), and 12 big points down the stretch from Anthony Perry.
Among the records tied or broken in the game:
- Most Points Combined In One Georgetown Game: 226, ties record held by GU-Holy Cross (1972-73)
- Most Points Combined In Any NIT Game: 226, breaks record held by UConn-Holy Cross (213, 1955 NIT)
- Three point field goals made: 12, ties record held by GU-Providence and GU-Miami (both in 1995-96)
- Most Points In A Georgetown Post-Season Game: 115, breaks record of 98 vs. Texas Tech (1996 NCAA)
- Most Combined Points In A Georgetown Post-Season Game: 226, breaks record of 188 vs. Texas Tech (98-90, 1996 NCAA)
- Most minutes by one player in a single game: Kevin Braswell (49 minutes)
- Career high in scoring by Kevin Braswell (40). Braswell joins Allen Iverson (who scored 40 against Seton Hall in 1996) as the only players to score 40 or more points in a game since 1970. The record is 46 by Jim Barry in 1965.
- Career highs in scoring and rebounding by Gharun Hester (9 pts., 10 rebs.)
- Tied career high in rebounding by Rhese Gibson (13)
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. By game's end, the rotation of Hall, Bethel, Freeman, Thomas, and Hillier were no match for the Irish, who ascended into a tie for second in the division and won their fifth straight game since falling to Georgetown on Jan. 21.
The loss could not have come at a worse time for the Hoyas, now tied with Rutgers at a distant fourth in the division and with four of its next five on the road. The players gave all that they had, and with it, the loss cannot diminish the efforts of some great individual and team performances.
Chief among those accomplishments was Mike Sweetney, achieving the first "30/20" in GU and Big East history with 35 points, 20 rebounds, six blocks, and six assists. Wesley Wilson turned in a career high
26 points, seven rebounds, and five blocks. Freshman Drew Hall played 46 minutes and collected ten points on 3-3 three point shooting, without a single turnover.
Gerald Riley (2-9) and Tony Bethel (1-6) also struggled mightily, but it was Braswell who stood in the spotlight and put up two foolish shots when the Hoyas' inside game had no peer on the MCI court. The starting five missed 10 of 11 three point shots, any one of which would have been part of a historic win. Instead, it is soon forgotten.
For the Irish, freshman Chris Thomas was superb: he played all 60 minutes, scored 22 points, 12 assists, and even a blocked shot. Matt Carroll, with five three pointers and 28 points in 54 minutes, was the game's MVP for the Irish.
Perhaps the most disturbing stat can be seen on the boards, where the smaller Irish lineup had their way inside, including 19 offensive rebounds. In the first game between the two teams, GU held a 51-35 advantage; Saturday, ND led 64-54, a Big East record.
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.
Whether the Hoyas' NCAA hopes have slipped away as well will be seen in the weeks to come.
Here are the records set or broken in Saturday's game:
Most Points Allowed: 116
Most Points Combined/Game 227
Most Rebounds Allowed: 64
Big East Records:
Most Points Combined/Game 227
Most Rebounds In A Game, 64
Most Rebounds, Combined, 118
Most Points Combined/Game 227
Most Fouls Combined, 54