- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 22, 2002

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Notre Dame got the first hint of what type of game it was in for against Georgetown in the first minute.
The Hoyas' Tony Bethel missed a jumper and Wesley Wilson went up over Ryan Humphrey and came down with the rebound. He was fouled and made a free throw.
Twenty seconds later, Bethel missed another shot, only this time Mike Sweetney grabbed the ball and scored on the rebound. Sweetney did it again two possessions later, setting the tone as Georgetown dominated inside last night to beat the Irish 83-73.
"For the most part, it was a total physical mismatch," Irish coach Mike Brey said. "We were hanging on for dear life just with the physicalness of it."
Sweetney, who had 21 points and 16 rebounds, had three rebound baskets in the opening 11:50, accumulating 11 points and 11 rebounds during that span as the Hoyas opened a 33-18 lead. The Irish didn't get closer than nine until there were 75 seconds left, and never got closer than seven.
With Harold Swanagan, Notre Dame's second-leading rebounder, out with a reaggravated left ankle sprain, the Irish (12-6, 2-3 Big East) had no answer for Georgetown's inside game. Courtland Freeman had 11 points and seven rebounds for the Hoyas and Wesley Wilson had 11 points and six rebounds as the Hoyas (12-6, 3-3) had a 54-41 rebounding advantage.
While Sweetney, Freeman and Wilson combined for 29 rebounds against the Irish, they combined for just five in a 68-67 loss to Pittsburgh on Saturday.
"Everyone just came out hard and rebounded," Sweetney said. "We're capable of rebounding like that every game. It's just that we don't come out and do it every game."
The 16 rebounds for Sweetney were one away from matching the career high he had against UCLA on Dec.29.
"Last year's team had four seniors, and that's one of the big reasons we started out 16-0," Georgetown coach Craig Esherick said. "This year we only have one senior, Kevin Braswell, and a young team which is maddeningly unpredictable."
Unpredictable, but large with the 6-8, 260-pound Sweetney, 6-11, 235-pound Wilson and the 6-9, 225-pound Freeman.
"Playing physical is nothing to them," said Humphrey, who is 6-8, 235. "When we have to struggle for rebounds it's going to be a long night."
The Irish used a 20-10 run to cut Georgetown's lead to 77-70 on a 3-pointer by Matt Carroll with 1:15 left. The Irish had a chance to move closer when Gerald Riley missed the first shot on a one-and-one, but Sweetney got the rebound and Irish coach Mike Brey was called for a technical for arguing that Sweetney had pushed.
"I thought we had a push off on that and I just thought as physical as the game was, you probably make that call," said Brey, Notre Dame's second-year coach, who hadn't been called for a technical before with the Irish. "They weren't going to lose the game on that."
Kevin Braswell, who had 14 points, made the free throw and the Hoyas made 5 of 6 free throws the rest of the way.
The loss was the third straight for the Irish, as well as their third straight home loss.
The Hoyas held the Irish to 37.3 percent shooting, their second worst outing this season, as the Irish made just 4 of 21 3-pointers. The Hoyas shot 44.9 percent, with Tony Bethel added 12 points.
Humphrey led the Irish with 19 points and 11 rebounds, Matt Carroll had 17 points and six rebounds, Chris Thomas scored 13 and Jordan Cornette had 11.

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