- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 3, 2002

That's the definition of finishing with a flourish.
Georgetown senior captain Kevin Braswell was absolutely unstoppable in his final college home game yesterday, carrying the Hoyas to an 88-69 thrashing of Rutgers in record-setting fashion.
Braswell tagged the Scarlet Knights for 18 points and 16 assists, matching the single-game school record established in the latter category by Charles Smith against St. Leo in 1988 and shattering Joey Brown's career record with 686.
"It couldn't be any better to get my career high [in assists] in my last home game," said Braswell, who had more than 40 friends and family members watching his final masterpiece at MCI Center. "This is by far the best game of my career. … It's crazy that I tied the school record. I'll think about it tonight, but right now I'm just happy that we won. Before the game I told the guys in the huddle, 'Listen, this is my last game at the MCI Center for Georgetown, and I don't want to go out a loser.'"
Courtesy of Braswell's heroics, the Hoyas (18-10, 9-7 Big East) roll into this week's Big East tournament riding their first three-game conference winning streak of the season. Though their seeding and first-round opponent won't be decided until after today's game between Syracuse and Boston College, the Hoyas need at least two victories in New York to have a legitimate shot at earning an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament.
"We have a lot of basketball left to play, and I told Kevin that before the game," said Georgetown coach Craig Esherick. "But I think this was Kevin's day."
Midway through the second half, it looked as if Rutgers (18-11, 8-8) would rain on Braswell's farewell parade. That precipitation came in the form of six 3-pointers from junior guard Jerome Coleman (26 points), who drilled a deep triple with 7:26 remaining to trim the Georgetown lead to 65-56. But Braswell, who had broken Brown's career record of 677 earlier in the half, simply refused to let the Scarlet Knights steal his spotlight.
Over the game's closing minutes, the 6-foot-2 point man from Baltimore played the best hoops of his career, accounting for the team's final 23 points with his slashing drives, perimeter stroke and distribution skills. Braswell shredded the Scarlet Knights' defense on Georgetown's last 10 scoring possessions. The 11,223 spectators watched the following surreal sequence in a frozen standing ovation as Braswell:
cBlew past two defenders for a layup.
Found sophomore power forward Mike Sweetney (14 points, nine rebounds) for a jam.
Flipped the ball high off the glass over Rutgers pivot Rashod Kent (19 points, 14 rebounds) for a hoop.
Found guard Tony Bethel (21 points) coming off a sequence of picks on the baseline for a 3-pointer.
Whipped a perfect pass to Sweetney in transition for a layup.
Drilled consecutive 3-pointers with the defense dropping off to limit his penetration.
Shoveled two passes in transition to center Wesley Wilson (16 points, eight rebounds, seven blocks) for point-blank baskets.
Drew the defense on the break and flipped a pass to Bethel on the wing for an 8-foot baseline jumper.
When the dizzying scoring spree finally stopped with Georgetown leading 88-66 and just more than 30 seconds remaining, Braswell had scored 10 points and dished out six assists in less than seven minutes. Just about the only thing he didn't do was bow when Esherick called a timeout with 23 seconds left to usher him out of the game with one last round of thunderous applause.
"That was just unreal," Wilson said of Braswell's closing brilliance. "It was all I could do to not stop playing and just start clapping for him the way he took them apart at the end."
But Braswell, who has 28 assists and just two turnovers in his last two games, insists the magic isn't over yet.
"We're playing our best ball right now," he said. "Some people say we need two wins in the Big East tournament to get a bid, but I'm not even thinking about that. We're thinking about winning the whole thing. I don't see any reason why we can't go up there and do it. There isn't a dominant team in our league this year, and if we can go up there and get on a roll, we can take that automatic bid. We don't want to leave it in the hands of the selection committee. We want to go up there and take our bid with no questions asked."


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