- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 23, 2003

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) The script seemed all too familiar for Georgetown coach Craig Esherick and the Hoyas yesterday.
But in another close game, Mike Sweetney had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Gerald Riley added 19 points as Georgetown held on for a 74-72 win over Miami.
"I was very nervous," said Esherick, whose team improved to 2-5 in games decided by five points or less. "Have you seen us play lately?"
Tony Bethel had 12 and Victor Samnick added 10 for the Hoyas (12-11, 4-8 Big East), who moved half a game ahead of Rutgers for sixth place in the West Division of the conference.
The seventh-place team in each division does not qualify for the Big East tournament.
"It was a dogfight at the end," Sweetney said. "There was bodies flying all over the place, there was legs and arms all over the place. We've had trouble winning the close ones all year, so this was a big one for us."
James Jones scored 18 points for the Hurricanes (10-13, 3-9), who remained in last place in the East Division, half a game behind Virginia Tech. Miami lost its ninth game decided by five points or less.
"It's a very thin line between our successes and our failures," Hurricanes coach Perry Clark said. "In this league, you can't be in position to win games and let them get away."
Trailing 73-72 with about 12 seconds to play, Miami's Eric Wilkins stole the ball from Bethel but turned it right back over as the Hurricanes squandered an opportunity to take the lead. Bethel knocked the ball away and threw downcourt to Brandon Bowman.
"I felt so bad I made the turnover, so I wanted to hustle back and get the ball back," Bethel said. "I just knew I had to throw it down the court to burn off time, and then we had a man there."
Bowman made one of two free throws with 5.4 seconds remaining. Miami had one last chance, but Armondo Surratt missed a long 3-pointer at the buzzer.
"We did make a couple of turnovers down the stretch, but Tony made a play," Esherick said. "That's what you have to do at the end of a ballgame."
The game went back and forth for most of the second half with the largest lead at six. The Hoyas led 71-65 with 1:52 remaining after Bethel made one of two free throws.
The Hurricanes struggled from the line, hitting 16 of 27 free throws (59 percent), while the Hoyas connected on 23 of 33 (70 percent). Georgetown also benefited from 24 Miami turnovers, despite giving it away 20 times themselves.
The Hurricanes have four games remaining, including a date at Virginia Tech.
"As long as we have an opportunity, it's never over," Jones said. "It's all on us."
Jones picked up the offensive slack in the first half, when Darius Rice was held scoreless on 0-for-3 shooting.
Five Miami players finished in double figures, including Rice (12), Robert Hite (15), Surratt (11) and Rodrigue Djahue (10).


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