The players on both teams will suffer from the bruises suffered in last night's brutally fought Georgetown-Boston College basketball game for a long time.
But, for Georgetown, the lumps incurred in last night's physical struggle will heal a bit quicker because the Hoyas escaped with their first Big East Conference victory, a 57-55 decision over Boston College, when John Bagley's successful 35-foot basket, which would have sent the contest into overtime, was ruled a fraction of a second after the final buzzer.
"I though the basket was good," said Bagley, "but I can't get upset too much. It's just something we have to live with."
"I didn't think it was close," said Hoya Coach John Thompson.
"It was close," said BC Coach oom Davis. "But it doesn't do any good to belador the point now. But the players were pretty upset. They have to learn that, sometimes, you learn by losing."
The Eagles (8-2), playing the last of seven straight games away from home, suffered only their second defeat, which broke a five-game winning streak.
Georgetown (8-6, 1-1) led by seven, 55-48, with just less than six minutes to play, but BC guard Dwan Chandler's jumper from the left side cut the Hoyas' lead to 57-55 with 1:46 remaining.
Georgetown's Eric Smith, who scored 10 points, missed the first of a one-and-one free throw opportunity with 1:35 left. Bagley, the conference's leading scorer at 20 points per game, drove down the lane with 15 seconds left, but lost control of the ball. On the same possession, he had missed another shot, but teammate Chris Foy's offensive rebound gave him another chance.
Sleepy Floyd, who broke out of his three-game shooting slump, scoring on eight of 10 field-goal attempts, grabbed the ball and passed it to center Ed Spriggs, who was fouled with five seconds left.
Spriggs also missed his first free throw. BC rebounded the missed shot and fired a pass upcourt to Bagley, who had scored 19 points already. He took one dribble and launched a 35-foot shot from near the sideline, the ball brushing the rim before falling in. But the officials ruled, without hesitation, that the basket had come after the buzzer.
The play was interrupted by numerous injury timeouts, one minor skirmish -- betwee Georgetown's Fred Brown and BC's Foy -- and several more near fights.
"We played with determination, like we knew we weren't going to lose," said Thompson. "Boston College was aggressive, they changed defenses well and were just tough to play. But Fred Brown played like a man tonight. I hope this win starts up the fire that gets us going."
Remarkably, only 36 fouls were whistled in the sloppy (43 turnovers combined) and sometimes savagely played game -- 18 against each team.
The Hoyas led, 31-29, at halftime, as Floyd made seven of eight shots for 14 points. Bagley also had 14 points before intermission. Both teams found it difficult to score, fighting through tough zone defenses.
Georgetown made half of its 14 foul shots for the game and BC converted seven of 12.
"The officials let the game become physical early," said Bagley, "and they let it get out of hand. Three refs should have called more than 36 fouls in that game. We beat teams by drawing fouls and hitting our free throws. But we couldn't draw any fouls tonight. So we never got into our game."
Though BC, before last night, had only outscored its opponents by 16 points from the field, it had a 103-point margin over the opposition in free throws.