- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 10, 2002

This game would have given a roll of Tums heartburn.
Georgetown and Notre Dame played the longest game in Big East history yesterday at MCI Center, swapping shots for four overtimes before the Irish emerged from the rubble of attrition with a 116-111 victory.
"I have not been involved in a better game," said Notre Dame coach Mike Brey, who was on Duke's bench as an assistant when Christian Laettner downed Kentucky with a buzzer-beating turnaround jumper in the 1992 NCAA East Region finals. "Even that game wasn't better than this. There were so many different chances for both teams to win it or lose it and so many great moments."
The numbers and records that fell are staggering. Not only was it the first quadruple-overtime affair in league history, the teams combined for the most points in a Big East game, shattering the record of 219 set by Pittsburgh and Providence in 1990. Notre Dame tied the record for most rebounds in a league game with 64.
Individually, scintillating Notre Dame point guard Chris Thomas (22 points, 12 assists, eight rebounds) played all 60 minutes, obviously the most in league history. Incredibly, he committed just one turnover over the game's final 40 minutes
"I can hardly feel my legs," Thomas said after the game. "My feet are blue, but it's worth it."
And Georgetown wasn't without its share of record-setters. Sophomore power forward Mike Sweetney (35 points, 20 rebounds, six assists, six blocks) set a league record for highest combined points and rebounds. And junior center Wesley Wilson (26 points, seven rebounds, five blocks) had a career scoring performance.
But no number of record-setting stats can provide emotional salve for the Hoyas after they lost the kind of game no team should have to lose.
"It was the worst game of my life," deflated co-captain Kevin Braswell said after the Hoyas (14-8, 5-5 Big East) slumped into fourth place in the league's West division, two games behind the Irish (17-6, 7-3) and facing long odds against an NCAA tournament berth. "I'm sure it was a great game for the fans to watch. But I can't even tell you how hard it is to lose a game like that. I think everyone in this locker room thinks we should have won it."
Georgetown had the last shot in regulation and the first three overtimes. If they had converted any of the four possessions, they would have won, But they managed to get only two shots to the rim, much less in the basket.
Braswell, who has made so many big shots in his career, was responsible for the first three misses. At the end of regulation, Braswell (12 points, 10 assists) streaked end-to-end in 5.2 seconds, tossing up a desperately short shot in traffic as the buzzer sounded with the score tied 84-84.
At the end of the first overtime, Georgetown coach Craig Esherick called a timeout with 16.3 seconds remaining and the score tied 88-88 to set up the final play. Many of the 14,698 standing spectators expected Esherick to design a play involving Sweetney or Wilson, who had absolutely dominated their Notre Dame counterparts in the paint. Instead, Braswell held the ball at the top of the key and virtually duplicated his regulation-ending miss.
The end of the second overtime provided Braswell with one final chance for redemption. This time with the score tied 97-97, the Baltimore bomber drove around a screen at the top of the key and launched a 3-pointer as time expired.
"It looked like it was in all the way," said the disheartened Braswell, who watched the shot skip tantalizingly between the front and back portions of the rim before fate spit it back out.
At the end of the third overtime, Esherick decided to switch to the suddenly hot hand of sophomore swingman Gerald Riley, who had just dropped a 3-pointer to put the Hoyas in position to win once again. But Riley waited too late to make his move, drove weakly into the lane and had his 6-footer rejected by Notre Dame's Ryan Humphrey (23 points, 14 rebounds).
In the fourth overtime, it looked as if the Hoyas might settle things without any last-second drama. Harvey Thomas threw down a jam along the baseline to put Georgetown ahead 108-105 with 2:40 remaining. But two key fouls down the stretch killed the Hoyas' hopes.
First, Sweetney fouled out on Notre Dame's next possession trying to guard Humphrey. The foulfest already had claimed Riley a minute earlier and Wilson in the second overtime. And reserve front-liner Courtland Freeman was sidelined with a bad back after a ridiculously hard foul by Notre Dame's Harold Swanagan, also in the second overtime.
With Sweetney, Wilson, Freeman and Riley gone, Esherick had no choice but to go small. Without any big men cluttering up the lane, Notre Dame's Chris Thomas dropped a floater to give Notre Dame a 109-108 lead with 1:52 remaining. And seconds later, after Georgetown's Tony Bethel had his second consecutive runner swatted away by Humphrey, Irish shooting Matt Carroll (career-high 30 points) drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing.
Incredibly, the Hoyas scrapped back within 112-111 on Bethel's free throw with 50 seconds remaining. But after Bethel missed the second, Braswell committed the second dooming foul, hacking Carroll 90 feet from the basket. The play fouled Braswell out, put a virtually automatic free throw shooter on the line and almost guaranteed that Notre Dame would have the last possession if needed.
It wasn't. Predictably, Carroll made both free throws to give the Irish a 114-111 lead with 46.5 seconds left, and Georgetown's tiny lineup never again earned an open look.

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