- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 13, 2002

CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. That's going to leave a mark.
Georgetown unloaded a month's worth of frustration on Boston College yesterday, thrashing the 16th-ranked Eagles 70-43 to snap a four-game losing streak in grand fashion.
The Hoyas (10-5, 1-2 Big East) now carry some unexpected momentum into a week that sees Seton Hall (Wednesday) and Big East West division co-leader Pittsburgh (Saturday) visiting MCI Center.
"This is the kind of win that can start a roll," said senior point guard Kevin Braswell (14 points, seven assists, six rebounds and five steals) after teaming with freshman Tony Bethel to erase Boston College jitterbug Troy Bell, who entered the game as the league's leading scorer. "This is one of those games that we really needed. Let's face it, we had to have it.
"I don't usually say too many things, but before the game I asked the guys to remember that awful feeling in our guts after we lost to Rutgers. That was the game that really got to us. I think all of us were determined to put that feeling behind us for good."
That determination manifested itself in Georgetown's best defensive effort this season by far. The Hoyas went into the game with one clear defensive goal: they were not going to let Bell beat them. The 6-foot-1 guard, entered the game as one of the top five scorers in the nation (24.0 points). A dozen NBA scouts were on hand to watch the junior put on another slash-and-splash exhibition. What they witnessed was a defensive masterpiece from Braswell and Bethel, who held Bell to a season-low eight points on 4-for-16 shooting and virtually assured that Bell will be back for his senior season.
For just the third time in his 76-game career, Bell did not earn one trip to the free throw line against the Hoyas. And his eight points marked the lowest scoring total of his career when he has played 30 or more minutes.
"This is the most embarrassing game I have ever been a part of in my life," said Bell, who had his scoring burden doubled after backcourt mate Ryan Sidney left midway through the first half with a sprained ankle and the Hoyas leading 15-8. "It was a shame that it was on national TV. I wish it would have been a scrimmage."
Actually, Bell and Co. played like it was a scrimmage. Not only did Georgetown's defensive pressure force Bell and the Eagles (13-3, 2-2) into a frigid shooting performance (23.7 percent), but Bethel simply took the ball from the All-American on no less than four occasions, streaking the other way for easy transition baskets.
"We noticed on tape that he can get a little tentative against pressure, so we went at him hard and got up into him every time he touched the ball," said Bethel, who had 11 points, four assists and four steals (all against Bell). "We got great help from our big men, hedging on top against him, and we made him pay for his mistakes."
Georgetown scored 26 points in transition, making the Eagles suffer for every ball-handling miscue and rolling up a 37-26 halftime edge. And when Bethel and Braswell weren't busy converting steals into buckets, the Hoyas' halfcourt offense was having its way against the smallish, plodding Eagles. Boston College had no answers for Georgetown power forward Mike Sweetney (15 points, 11 rebounds), who muscled BC forward Uka Agbai right out of the game. Agbai fouled out trying to stay with Sweetney, who missed only one of his seven shots.
Sophomore gunner Gerald Riley (13 points) kept the Eagles' defense off Sweetney by drilling both of his 3-point attempts. And even junior center Wesley Wilson, who had been mired in a mammoth funk, showed some signs of life, scoring seven points and completely stifling Agbai (four points) on the defensive end.
Most importantly, Georgetown finally closed the door on a quality opponent after last week's debacle at Rutgers. Braswell gave the Hoyas a 14-point edge with a 3-pointer on their second possession of the second half, and the Eagles never got any closer. The entire second half was basically a Georgetown run, as the Hoyas methodically bludgeoned the jump-shooting Eagles into submission before a stunned and silent crowd of 8,606 at Conte Forum.
"I couldn't be more pleased with the overall effort today. I think everybody played well today," said Georgetown coach Craig Esherick. "Effort has been there the whole season, so I wasn't surprised by the intensity we displayed from the start. But we did play better defensively today than we had at times during the four-game losing streak. We have a lot of young people who don't totally understand what college basketball is all about yet, but they're getting there, and we're getting there as a team."

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