Headache But No Hangover For Hoyas

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Jeff Green and the Hoyas appear to have Notre Dame beat in regulation before Brandon Bowman commits a cardinal basketball sin by fouling Colin Falls as he attempts - and hits - a three pointer with 1.8 seconds left. (Joe Raymond - AP)

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By Camille Powell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 25, 2006

SOUTH BEND, Ind., Jan. 24 -- Georgetown senior forward Brandon Bowman knows he made a mistake at the end of regulation in the 21st-ranked Hoyas' game at Notre Dame on Tuesday night. He was just happy his team managed to overcome it and escape with an 85-82 double-overtime victory at Joyce Center.

Bowman, who played well in Georgetown's upset of top-ranked Duke on Saturday afternoon, committed a foul as Notre Dame's Colin Falls made a tough three-pointer from deep in the corner with 1.8 seconds left in the second half. The Hoyas' four-point lead all of a sudden was cut to just one, and Falls converted the free throw to tie the score at 69 and send the game into overtime.

"It would've been better to go home off of regulation instead of double overtime. Especially for me, I think I probably felt it more than anyone else because the play I created," said Bowman, who finished with eight points, six rebounds and three steals. "Everyone held on and did what they had to do. It's really good to leave here with a win. If we had left here with a loss, I don't know . . . "

The Hoyas (13-4, 4-2 Big East), who played so intelligently and with such poise against Duke, did neither in the final seconds of regulation. Georgetown appeared to have the game in hand when Bowman made two free throws to give the Hoyas a 69-65 lead with 8.9 seconds left. Notre Dame senior guard Chris Quinn quickly pushed the ball up the court, and Jonathan Wallace knocked it away from him and out of bounds with 3.2 seconds on the clock.

That set up Falls's shot and Bowman's foul. Bowman said after the game that he tried to pull his hand back when he saw that Falls was shooting and that he didn't think he fouled Falls, who finished with 18 points.

"You've got to know the circumstances," said Georgetown senior Darrel Owens, who had 18 points and three assists. "They can't beat us with a two. Obviously the only way we can go into overtime is if we foul them on a three, which we did. It was a tough shot, but we were screaming and telling each other not to foul. We made kind of a boneheaded play in that situation, but we pulled it out in the end."

Both teams had chances to win the game at the end of the first five-minute overtime. The Hoyas had the ball with 37.1 seconds remaining; they used the entire shot clock, but Wallace's layup attempt was blocked by Rob Kurz. The ball went out of bounds, and Notre Dame took possession with 1.8 seconds left. Kurz launched a pass -- over the outstretched arms of the 7-foot-2 Roy Hibbert (18 points and 13 rebounds) -- the length of the court, and somehow Quinn (26 points) came up with the ball and got off a two-foot shot that bounced off the rim.

Notre Dame made only one field goal in the second overtime and missed one dunk and four free throws. The Hoyas got big three-pointers from sophomore Jeff Green (12 points) and Owens, but they still clung to a three-point lead when the Fighting Irish took possession with 8.6 seconds left. Notre Dame got two clean looks to tie the score -- first from Kurz and then from freshman Kyle McAlarney -- but the second one missed everything and fell into the hands of Georgetown's Marc Egerson.

"It's just learning experiences that kind of helps you in the next game," Owens said of the close win. "We have senior leadership on the team. A couple of years back, I don't know what would've happened in that situation. We have a lot of guys that know what it takes to win, and that starts with the coach."

The Hoyas, who never trailed, built a 15-point lead in the first half. But Notre Dame (10-7, 1-5), which shot 53.6 percent in the second half (hitting 5 of 11 three-point attempts) battled back, most memorably at the end on Falls's shot.

"That was a demoralizing play. In spite of that, you come to the huddle and sometimes you see the guys and they have this look [like], 'Oh boy, it's over,' " said Georgetown Coach John Thompson III, who recorded the 100th victory of his career in his sixth season as a head coach. "There was a lot of enthusiasm and encouragement for each other. That's growth. . . . We might be to the point where we realize that no matter what the circumstances, when it comes down to the end, we can figure out how to win. We can almost figure out how to give it away, too."


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