Georgetown's Hoyas won last night on emotion.
Playing their last home game this season, knowing that a share of the Big East title still was in reach, they were inspired by the play of Eric Floyd and Mike Frazier and edged conference foe Connecticut, 60-58, on a clutch rebound and free throw by Frazier.
But Georgetown (19-10, 9-5) closed its conference slate second in the Big East, Boston College won the regular-season title later, beating Seton Hall. Georgetown will play Seaton Hall Thrusday at 7 p.m. in the first round of the Big East tournament in Syracuse's Carrier Dome.
Georgetown is in the same bracket as the host Orangemen, who play Connecticut at 9. In the afternoon doubleheader, top-speeded BC meets last-place Providence at 1, followed by St. John's versus Villanova.
It was fitting that the 7-foot Frazier close out the scoring. He made seven of 11 shots for 16 points, and continued to play, as he has for the last month, the best basketball of his career.
With a standing room only crowed of 4,528 staying to chant "Frazier, Frazier, Frazier" after the game, the team's only senior returned from the locker room, waved and was mobbed by Hoya fans.
They continued to chant until Frazier came out a second time. This time they tried to carry him off the floor. But Frazier's 270 pounds hardly budged.
He said in the locker room that Coach John Thompson had sent him out to ask fans to come to Syracuse to support the team in the tournament. "They've got 25,000 people, and how many do we have?" Thompson said, referring to Syracuse.
What did Frazier say out on the court?" I asked them to come to Syracuse," he said wryly.
After trailing, 24-18, at halftime, the Hoyas rallied behind a dozen straight points by Floyd, who scored a season-high 28, and took a 59-53 lead with 1:16 remaining on his two free throws.
Connecticut closed to 59-56 on Vern Giscombe's three-point play, then fouled to regain the ball.
Norman Bailey fouled Gene Smith, who missed the first of one-and-one free throws with 35 seconds left. Bailey's jump shot from the right side cut Georgetown's lead to 59-58 with 26 seconds to play.
Bailey fouled Fred Brown three seconds later, and he, too, missed the first of the one-and-ones with Connecticut getting the rebound. "I was positive Fred would make those foul shots," Thompson said. By then, GU had lost a potential 16 points from the foul line.
Worse, the Huskies had the ball with a chance to win. Bailey, who scored 12 points, took a 10-foot spot from left of the basket, a sweet spot for him earlier.
But this time the ball bounced straight up off the rim ("I thought I was nudged by Eric Smith," Bailey said) and Frazier grabbed the rebound with six seconds left. He made one of two free throws after being fouled by Chuck Aleksinas.
Frazier had picked up four easy baskets during a nine-minute stretch when Connecticut's leading scorer, rebounder and intimidater, Corny Thompson, was on the bench with four fouls.
The Hoyas exploited his absence with layup after layup to erase an eight-point deficit. Three of Brown's four baskets came on inside shots and Floyd had another lay-in.
"God know I fell like taking a stick and wearing Frazier out, John Thompson said, a smile breaking over his face. "Because he's doing the things I knew five years ago he could do. Tonight, he dominated. He's a good offensive basketball player, and he's always had the capability. I guess he just said, 'I'll give this ol' man (thompson) some mercy today.'"