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MEN’S BASKETBALL: Hoyas win with last-second dunk

Matt Lozar | Monday, January 24, 2005

It looked like Colin Falls had given the Irish another escape act on the road.But there was too much time left on the clock – five seconds too much.A two-handed dunk by 7-foot-2 Roy Hibbert as time expired gave the Hoyas (12-5, 4-2 in the Big East) a 55-54 win over the Irish (12-4, 4-2) Sunday at the MCI Center. The Irish were losing 53-48 with less than four minutes remaining. Chris Thomas nailed a wide-open 3-pointer with 1:12 left to get the Irish within two at 53-51. After a Georgetown turnover, Hibbert picked up his fourth foul with 35.4 seconds remaining, but it was only the Hoyas’ fifth team foul, so the Irish didn’t get to shoot bonus free throws.After the Irish called a timeout with 17.3 left, Thomas stalled in front of the half-court stripe waiting for the clock to wind down. Off a screen from Jordan Cornette, Thomas hit Falls who jumped, pump-faked to avoid the attempted block of Jonathan Wallace and swished a 3-pointer while leaning to his left to give the Irish a 54-53 lead with 5 seconds remaining.The Hoyas didn’t call a timeout to setup a play or to give the Irish a chance to set up their defense. Ashanti Cook took the inbounds pass and drove to the basket. He was able to get a shot off past Thomas. Cornette came over to help and try to get a blocked shot, but that left Hibbert wide-open to grab the rebound off Cook’s miss for the game-winning dunk.The officials huddled to view television replays to see if the dunk happened before time expired, but the replays showed the dunk going through the net as the clock changed from .2 to .1 seconds.Falls and Chris Quinn led the Irish with 13 points apiece. Thomas had 10, and Dennis Latimore got 10 points as he gained confidence throughout the game and took advantage of his increased playing time.Brandon Bowman and Jeff Green led the Hoyas, also with 13 points apiece.Georgetown used its quickness to push the Irish shooters out past the 3-point line and now allow them to get open looks. That quickness combined with Georgetown’s lanky bodies forced the Irish into shooting 9-of-22 from behind the arc. The Irish were down 7-4 early, but slowly built a 12-7 lead, highlighted by two 3-pointers from Falls. Then the Hoyas went on a quick 12-1 run, using 3-pointers from Ray Reed and Bowman.The teams stayed close for the rest of the half, with no one getting more than a four-point advantage. The Hoyas struggled from the field, making one field goal in the last four minutes of the half. That one field goal was an uncontested breakaway layup by Cook that tied the game at 29 going into the locker room. The Irish return to the court Wednesday at Villanova, who handed No. 2 Kansas its first loss of the season Saturday, 83-62.