SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Matt Carroll kept telling his Notre Dame teammates to stay calm.
He told them during timeouts near the end of regulation, after
the (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP) Irish squandered a 15-point lead. He told them again during the first overtime, and then again during the second
overtime until they finally beat Georgetown 93-92 Saturday.
"He just kept bringing it up throughout the game, 'We'll play
until we win,''' Irish coach Mike Brey said.
The win for Notre Dame (18-3, 6-1 Big East) took longer than
last season's 116-111 victory over the Hoyas at the MCI Center --
the highest scoring game in Big East history. "I don't know what it is with Georgetown and overtimes,'' said
Carroll, who scored a career-high 36 points. "If it takes three
overtimes, four overtimes or two overtimes, we're going to keep
fighting until we get a win.'' The Hoyas (10-7, 2-5) have dropped five of their last six and
are 0-5 on the road. The loss came three days after they were
beaten in overtime by Seton Hall 93-82. On Thursday, the Big East
acknowledged that the Pirates had six men on the court for the final seconds of regulation. The Hoyas had chances to beat Notre Dame but couldn't pull it
out. "We made a lot of mental errors at the end of the game, which
we need to correct,'' said Michael Sweetney, who had a career-high
38 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Hoyas. "We can't keep
talking about it. We need to start doing it because it's getting
toward the end and we need as many wins as possible.'' The Hoyas, who trailed by 15 with 14 minutes left in the second
half, went ahead 69-68 with 47 seconds left in regulation after
Sweetney went around Jordan Cornette for a basket and was fouled.
He made the free throw to put the Hoyas ahead. Tom Timmermans made a free throw for the Irish with 28 seconds
left to tie the game at 69. Georgetown called timeout with 15.4 seconds left but never attempted a shot. "We tried to get the ball into Mike and it didn't work,''
Georgetown coach Craig Esherick said. The Irish led by three twice in the first overtime, but the
Hoyas tied it on a 3-pointer by Drew Hall with 4.4 seconds left.
Chris Thomas nearly ended the game in the first overtime, taking an
off-balance 15-foot shot at the buzzer, but the ball bounced around
and hung on the rim for a moment before falling out. The Irish opened an 88-83 lead in the second overtime when Dan
Miller hit a free throw with 2:13 left. But Hall hit a 3-pointer,
Sweetney scored inside and Hall made a pair of free throws with
10.9 seconds left as the Hoyas used a 7-2 run to tie the score at
92. The Irish took the ball up court immediately instead of calling
timeout. "They were frenzied and fouling us, hand checking, and I
thought whoever we could get it to, just drive take it all the way
to the hole and see what we could get out of it,'' Brey said. Torrian Jones drove hard to the basket, and the Hoyas thought
he'd traveled, but Darrel Owens was called for the foul. Jones hit
the game-winning free throw. Georgetown had a last chance to win, but Hall's 3-point attempt
from 30 feet bounced hard off the backboard, off the rim and out. "I don't think this team deserves this,'' Hall said. "We
worked so hard.''
Thomas scored 24 points for the Irish before fouling out with
3:55 left to play; it was the first time in two years he's fouled
out of a game. Miller added 11 rebounds. Gerald Riley and Wesley Wilson each had 15 for the Hoyas and Hall scored 10.
Carroll's first-half 3-pointer was the 260th of his career,
moving him past David Graves on the Notre Dame career list. "We didn't do a bad job of covering him,'' Esherick said. "We
knew where he was most of the time and he hit a lot of tough