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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Hoyas top Providence in final seconds

NEW YORK (REUTERS) — Georgetown was at its worst at the free-throw line and tied a Big East tournament record for turnovers. So the Hoyas went to a power dunk on a fast break to get an important win.

Wesley Wilson’s slam with 3.8 seconds to play gave Georgetown a 68-67 victory over Providence in Wednesday’s opening-round game.

Wilson’s only basket in the final 10 minutes came on a nice pass from freshman Drew Hall. It allowed the Hoyas (19-10) to move on to the quarterfinals against No. 20 Miami (23-6) and kept alive their chances for an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament.

“Drew made a perfect play against their defense,” Georgetown coach Craig Esherick said. “He pushed the ball and closed the game. We looked like we knew what we were doing.”

Providence (15-16) had a final chance at the upset, but John Linehan was unable to get off a clean shot as he started his drive near the top of the key.

“I just tried to get as close as I could to the basket, but I got tripped up,” Linehan said.

The Friars lost their fifth straight Big East tournament game.

Hall made two free throws — quite an accomplishment for Georgetown on a day the Hoyas were 20-for-39 from the line — to give Georgetown a 66-65 lead with 14 seconds to play.

Abdul Mills took the inbounds pass, drove down the right side of the floor and went right to the basket to give the Friars a 67-66 lead with 9.5 seconds left.

“That was what we wanted — Abdul going right to the rim,” Providence coach Tim Welsh said. “But they came right back at us.”

Hall said not having a timeout after Providence scored helped the Hoyas.

“We didn’t have a timeout so it was better to push the ball,” Hall said. “Besides, with a timeout it gives them time to set their defense. I pushed it 1-on-1, and Wesley made it a 2-on-1.”

The win was the fourth straight for Georgetown, which was third in the conference this season in free-throw percentage at 73.9.

After the game, the Hoyas returned to the floor at Madison Square Garden and practiced free throws.

“There’s no way we shoot free throws like that again,” senior guard Kevin Braswell said.

Mike Sweetney, limited to 12 minutes in the second half because of foul trouble, had 18 points for Georgetown, the last six after Providence used a 15-2 run to take a 59-52 lead. Sweetney had 10 rebounds to lead the Hoyas, who finished with a 43-28 rebounding advantage.

Boston College 60, Rutgers 55

NEW YORK — Boston College coach Al Skinner read the halftime box of Wednesday’s Big East tournament opener against Rutgers and shuddered a bit.

Troy Bell was 1-for-10. So was Kenny Walls. The Eagles, on the NCAA tournament bubble, had shot a miserable 5-for-33 (15.2 percent), the lowest half ever in Big East tournament history. Boston College trailed by 11 points, the largest halftime deficit any team had ever overcome in tournament history.

“I was wondering what kind of coaching job I was doing,” Skinner said. “I told that to my assistants.

“I was hoping we wouldn’t play that kind of half again.”

They didn’t.

The Eagles (20-10) rallied to defeat Rutgers 60-55 and advanced to the Big East quarterfinals. The Eagles play Pittsburgh Thursday in a rematch of last year’s championship game, which BC won 79-57.

Rutgers (18-12) led 33-22 at halftime after running off 13 straight points and limiting the Eagles to two points in the final 7:21 of the half.

But the Eagles climbed back in the game. Bell and Walls made quick baskets. Then Ryan Sidney, who had a game-high 20 points, made two-straight baskets, and consecutive three-pointers by Walls put BC in front at 38-37.

Rutgers battled back to lead 49-46 before Sidney’s three-pointer tied the score with 4:16 to play. Sidney then made another three-pointer, and free throws by Bell and Uka Agbai put BC in front to stay.

Bell had 16 points but made just four of 20 shots. Walls had 11 on 4-of-17 shooting as BC shot 27.3 percent for the game.

Jerome Coleman led Rutgers with 17 points, and Rashod Kent had 11 but missed three of his 13 free throws. The Scarlet Knights were 17-for-31 from the foul line.

Rutgers coach Gary Waters gave BC credit.

“Experience paid off for them,” he said. “The first five minutes of the second half was key. We missed four free throws while they made their first three shots.

“If we had made our free throws, no doubt in my mind we would win.”

Skinner thought the win clinched an NCAA berth for the Eagles. “I definitely feel like we’re in,” he said.

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