- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 16, 2001

Fatigue proved to be a far tougher opponent for Georgetown than Norfolk State.
The 18th-ranked Hoyas wasted an entire half staggering through a serious case of post-exam doldrums before dispatching the pedestrian Spartans 87-68 yesterday at MCI Center.
Georgetown (8-1), which has run off seven straight victories since an embarrassing loss to Georgia in last month's Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic, returns to the floor tomorrow against Howard.
The rigor of exam week is a tedious weapon in every coach's arsenal of excuses. But rarely has a team had a more valid reason to drag it out than Georgetown yesterday. Six Hoyas, among them starters Kevin Braswell, Mike Sweetney and Gerald Riley, actually took a sociology exam yesterday morning immediately before getting on a bus to go to the 1 p.m. game.
"I'm tired wiped out," said Braswell, who felt he aced the 8:30 a.m. exam before dropping 18 points and seven assists on Norfolk State. "A lot of us were in that class together. We were up late studying last night, then up at 5 or 6 this morning for the test. It's been a long day."
Obviously fatigued from cramming and examing, Georgetown missed 15 of its first 20 shots, allowing the lowly Spartans (3-7) to level the score 30-30 on a 3-pointer by senior guard Terrance Winston (16 points) with just 2:44 remaining in the first half.
Strangely, it took a freshman guard to shake the Hoyas out of their funk. Rookie gunner Tony Bethel, playing for the first time since a month-long bout with mono, barely beat the first-half buzzer with a 25-foot bomb that sent the Hoyas to the locker room with a 39-32 lead.
"It was great to have Tony back because he really brings a lot of energy to us, both in games and at practice," said Braswell. "That was a big shot because it sent us into the half with a spark."
That spark flared into a second-half blowout as Braswell and Co. returned from intermission with heightened intensity and quickly crushed the pesky Spartans. In the first six minutes, Braswell and Sweetney (17 points, 11 rebounds) alone combined to outscore Norfolk State 13-5, pushing the Georgetown lead to 56-37.
"I'm glad that one's over," said Sweetney, who showed few effects of either a bruised heel or weariness in the second half. "I was up until 4:15 [a.m.] last night studying, so I only got three hours of sleep."
With the game well in hand, both Sweetney and Braswell retired to the bench early in the second half as coach Craig Esherick experimented with a lineup which for the first time all season included all three of Georgetown's freshmen Bethel (10 points), backup point man Drew Hall (six points, three assists) and blue-chip swingman Harvey Thomas (seven points).
"It was good that I got the chance to rest Mike, because his foot is a little bit of a concern," Esherick said. "He did not practice at all again last week. He's been on the exercise machines to try and maintain his fitness, but no Stairmaster can get you in basketball shape. … I've got to say though that he looks darn good out there for a guy who has done virtually nothing in the way of practice for the last month."

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2020 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide