David Wingate picked up a loose ball and dribbled 75 feet of vindication yesterday, scoring a breakaway layup with one second remaining to lead No. 15 Georgetown to a 69-67 victory over Boston College before 13,872 at Capital Centre.

So now the Hoyas (15-4, 6-1 in the Big East Conference) have won six straight. Afterward, Coach John Thompson smiled and said, "I hope our players grew older today. I know I did."

And Boston College Coach Gary Williams, his sideline fire put out, his Eagles now 13-4 and 4-3, said, "The toughest thing is going to play another game after this one."

Here's why:

With 1:42 remaining, the score tied at 67 and Georgetown in a spread offense, Wingate, a freshman forward, missed an uncontested three-foot bank shot.

Boston College, which led by 10 points in the first half, controlled the rebound and stalled until 14 seconds remained. Williams then called time..

With 10 seconds left, sophomore guard Michael Adams, an expert dribbler, drove the lane.

"We had two guys in the corner, two guys down low. Michael was supposed to drive or dish off," said center John Garris.

"I think Mike was trying to pass to me," said forward Jay Murphy.

This would have made sense, since Murphy had scored 18 of his game-high 26 points in the second half.

"But John (Thompson) told Freddie Brown during the timeout, 'Don't let Murphy touch the ball,' " said Craig Esherick, a Georgetown assistant coach.

Adams never got the ball toward the basket or toward Murphy. Freshman guard Michael Jackson knocked the ball away from Adams. The ball bounced outside to Wingate, who never took his eyes off the basket downcourt.

"I knew Patrick (Ewing) was behind me and Gene Smith to the side of me. That's a feeling of security," said Jackson, who scored a team-high 21 points. "I just knocked the ball away from him (Adams)."

Wingate, who scored nine points, was unavailable for comment. Soon after the game, he was on the team bus. Georgetown left immediately for Philadelphia, where the Hoyas play Villanova Monday night.

Adams scored 14 points and, afterward, held his head in his hands. Tears of disappointment kept him from talking. "And there is not much we could say to him," said Murphy.

Ewing scored just nine points, making one field goal in the first half, two in the second half.

Boston College led, 34-31, at halftime, after letting a 30-20 lead escape. Shooting in the first half was miserable. Georgetown shot 32 percent, Boston College 30 percent.

The Hoyas took a 35-34 lead with 18:42 left. That is when Ewing was charged with his fourth foul. "When Ewing is not in the game," Williams said, "Georgetown just isn't the same."

But reserve center Ralph Dalton came on to get eight points and three rebounds. When Ewing returned with nine minutes left, Georgetown still led, 56-53.

"Ralph was the key to the game," said Thompson.

Another key came soon after Ewing left: Garris and Adams were charged with their fourth fouls 30 seconds apart. With Georgetown leading, 41-39, with 16 minutes left, both players sat out the next eight minutes.

"And we were back to even," said Williams.

Another key came with the score tied at 41 with 15:37 left. That's when Georgetown had a seven-point play. Wingate scored on a layup, was fouled and made the three-point play, giving Georgetown a 44-41 lead.

Williams argued the call and was charged with a technical. Jackson made both free throws, and the Hoyas kept possession, too. When Dalton scored underneath, it was a 48-41 lead with 15:15 left.

But the Eagles are as game and gutty as Williams, their first-year coach. With the 6-9 Murphy making 20-foot left-handed jumpers (he scored eight of the Eagles' final 12 points), Boston College came back.

All the way to a galling defeat.