Burnett Adams banked in a 10-foot jump shot with two seconds remaining and the game tied, 49-49, to lift Boston College to an emotional 53-49 victory over Georgetown tonight, enabling the Eagles to hold on to first place in the Big East.
Last year, it was Adams who fouled Georgetown's Mike Frazier in the waning moments. Frazier completed a three-point play with one second left to send the game into overtime; Georgetown went on to a victory that was considered the turning point of a 26-6 season.
"I've always believed that you get a chance to make up for past sins," Adams said.
"I guess Adams thought he owed me one," said Georgetown Coach John Thompson.
While last year's victory was one the Hoyas probably should not have gained, tonight's loss was one that they probably should not have suffered. They led by six, 44-38, with 4 1/2 minutes to play.
But Georgetown fell apart down the stretch. In the last three minutes the Hoyas missed easy shots, blew free throws and committed turnovers, letting a possible four-way tie for the conference lead slip away.
"We played well overall," said Thompson, "but at crucial points late, we lost concentration."
That included a missed scoop shot by Eric (Sleepy) Floyd followed by a missed 28-footer by the Hoyas' all-America candidate after he had scored 22 points, making nine of his first 14 shots, some on shots as far as 30 feet out.
BC guard John Bagley gave the Eagles (19-4, 8-3 in the Big East) the lead, 46-45, with 3:18 remaining after Chris Foy had stolen the first of two bad inbound passes by Hoya guard Fred Brown.
Bagley, the league's leading scorer who had 20 tonight, also made the first of two free throws to put BC ahead, 49-47, with 17 seconds left. But Brown drove down the left side of the court and banked in a twisting one-hander while crashing into several players to tie the game at 49 with eight seconds remaining.
With Brown and Floyd lying in a tangle on the floor after the tying basket, BC's Chris Foy jumped up and fired a pass to Bagley with six seconds left. The remaining three Georgetown players converged on Bagley, who was still well on the other side of the time line.
Bagley leaned forward and fired a crisp pass to Adams, streaking down the right side. He took three dribbles and put up the bank shot that dropped in for his only points of the game.
"I wasn't going to the basket because I was open and it was a good shot for me," said Adams, a 6-foot-6 sophomore. "I just squared up and decided to use the glass. If you're going to miss, it might as well be off glass."
After Adams' basket, the Eagles ran off the floor triumphantly, but Georgetown had stopped the clock by calling a timeout it didn't have, hoping the Eagles, in the person of Bagley, would miss the two technical foul shots and the Hoyas somehow would steal the resulting inbound pass and regain possession for a miracle finish.
But Bagley made both free throws, and the Hoyas (16-10, 6-5) lost their third important conference road game this season in front of the biggest crowd ever in this tiny gym (4,400), which included 7-foot Patrick Ewing, the Cambridge, Mass., who chose to attend Georgetown next year after a recruiting battle with BC.
Although Adams provided the winning points for the Eagles, he and Coach Tom Davis credited Bagley's pass.
"That was a very talented play by John," Davis said."You don't coach that play."
"They converged on John because they thought he would come down court and take the shot," said Adams. "But he made a great pass to set up my shot."
Davis said he elected not to call time because the Georgetown defenders were scattered enough for his players to have the advantage if they saw the open man. "Calling time only gives them the advantage of setting their defense," Davis said.
But Dwan Chandler made better sense. "It all happened so quickly we just didn't think about calling time-out."