The Georgetown Hoyas got yet another dominating performance from center Dikembe Mutombo and regrouped for one more frantic second-half rally. But yesterday's surprisingly tense 61-56 Big East Conference triumph over Boston College before 9,478 may have turned upon a few moments of late-game chaos involving the shot clock, the referees and a television crew.

Those who believe instant replay is a fiasco in the NFL should have been at Capital Centre on this afternoon of confusion.

Georgetown (10-3, 2-1 in the Big East) led by 57-56 with just over two minutes remaining when Boston College forward Doug Able sent a turnaround jump shot short of the rim. Eagles center Bill Curley retrieved the air ball along the baseline, and Boston College reset its offense.

The 45-second shot clock had not been reset, however, as college rules stipulate it should be on any field goal attempt (even one that doesn't strike the rim). The Eagles did not realize the error as the shot clock ticked under five seconds, and guard Howard Eisley heaved up an errant 35-foot jumper under duress that ricocheted out of bounds to Georgetown.

Referee Jody Silvester went to press row and tried to view a replay on a TV monitor -- the game was being produced by the Big East network utilizing a local crew -- but apparently he was unable to see the proper play. Silvester said through a spokesman afterward (he declined to be interviewed) that the TV officials had told him that they could show him the play only as far back as Eisley's desperation shot, and the referees thus had no way of reviewing whether a correctable shot-clock error had occurred.

Boston College Coach Jim O'Brien was miffed and upset. He said Silvester, after viewing the replay, told him that an Eagles' inbounds pass had occurred between Able's shot and Eisley's attempt, and that was the reason a replay of the first shot was not available. The officials "told me the ball went out of bounds, and that's why they couldn't get the replay," O'Brien said. "I know that didn't happen.

"I'm just confused. I don't know what the referees saw {on the replay}, and I don't know if they know what they saw. . . . Able's shot was a legitimate shot, that's not under dispute. So the {45-second} clock should have been reset. . . . I'm not going to say that cost us the game and I don't mean to imply that, but that was an important possession late in the game."

O'Brien said he did not discuss the play or what followed with the officials afterward -- "that's taboo," he said -- but indicated that he will contact the Big East office about the proceedings. "I just need a decent explanation," he said.

The Eagles (9-6, 1-3) had no answers for Mutombo, who hit 10 of 13 field goal attempts and totaled 24 points and 15 rebounds in 35 minutes. The 7-foot-2 senior disappeared from the Georgetown offense early in the second half, when the Eagles -- who fell to 0-10 against the Hoyas at Capital Centre -- were turning a 33-31 halftime lead into a 39-31 advantage with 17:40 to play.

It was 41-33 moments later when the Hoyas made their move, just as they did in second-half surges against Seton Hall and Providence in the past week. They held Boston College scoreless for the next four minutes, and a pair of dunks by Mutombo tied the game at 41 with 12 1/2 minutes left.

Georgetown -- which led throughout the early going, only to see Boston College take over with a 17-6 run fueled by reserve guard Malcolm Huckaby (team-high 12 points) late in the first half -- edged in front again on the shooting of freshman guard Charles Harrison, but it remained tight until the furious final sequence.

After the controversy though, Boston College quickly faded. Mutombo got a dunk off a pretty give-and-go with Harrison, and Robert Churchwell (14 points) finished the scoring with a pair of free throws while the Eagles were missing three three-point tries.

"We probably underestimated them a little bit," Hoyas guard Joey Brown said. "But we hung tough, we got the breaks and we pulled it out."