Georgetown 115, Virginia 111, 3OT
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ Gharun Hester hit a 3-pointer from the right corner with 31 seconds left in the third overtime Wednesday night in Georgetown’s 115-111 victory over Virginia in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.
The Hoyas (19-14), who rallied to tie it in regulation and had last-chance shots in the first two extra periods, didn’t need one this time as Hester’s shot gave them a 112-109 lead and Anthony Perry added a free throw 17 seconds later.
Virginia (19-12), which pulled within two on Adam Hall’s putback with 6.8 seconds left, fouled Kevin Braswell with 6.2 left. The Cavaliers caught a break when Braswell missed his second shot, but threw the ball away at the other end.
Braswell scored a career-high 40 points, 32 after the first half and five in the third overtime, when the Hoyas rallied from a 105-101 deficit. Lee Scruggs added 19 points and Demetrius Hunter 12 for Georgetown, all in the first half.
Virginia, making its first postseason appearance since a first-round loss to Iowa in the 1997 NCAA tournament, was led by Chris Williams with 23 points. Donald Hand had 22 before fouling out, Adam Hall 21 and Travis Watson 20 and 12 rebounds.
Williams scored the first four points of the third overtime to give Virginia the lead, but Hester hit a 16-footer, Nat Burton scored on a drive and Braswell hit two free throws with 2:20 left to give the Hoyas the lead at 107-105.
Virginia went ahead on two free throws and then a putback by Watson with 1:32 left, but Braswell tied it with a driving hoop and Hester untied it with his 3.
Georgetown, appearing in the NIT for the third consecutive season, played without 7-footer Ruben Boumtje Boumtje, its No. 2 scorer and leading rebounder, but didn’t seem to miss him as Braswell played the best game of his career.
The sophomore was 11-for-25 from the field with four 3-pointers and hit 14 of 21 free throws.
The second overtime started with Virginia holding a 90-88 lead courtesy of two free throws by Hand after a technical was called on Hoyas coach Craig Esherick for arguing that referees should have looked at replays of the end of the first OT.
Virginia took a 96-93 lead on Hall’s pullup 12-footer with 2:51 left and free throw 16 seconds later, but Burton hit a 3-pointer to tie it, Hand answered with one 17 seconds later and Braswell’s 3 capped the flurry with 1:42 left.
Rhese Gibson’s two foul shots with 44.8 seconds left gave the Hoyas a 101-99 lead. The shots came after Hand fouled out, but Williams’ driving bankshot with 25.8 left tied it again for Virginia and Braswell’s 24-footer at the buzzer was off.
In the first overtime, Burton’s tip and two free throws by Braswell gave the Hoyas an 86-83 lead, but Hand scored on a drive with 31.2 seconds left. Braswell hit two more free throws with 23.5 to play, but Roger Mason was fouled making a twisting baseline jumper with 14.1 to play and made the tying foul shot.
The Cavaliers led 58-43 2 1/2 minutes into the second half after scoring 10 of the first 14 points, but Georgetown responded with a 17-2 run to make it 60-60.
Neither team led by more than six the rest of the way, and when the Cavaliers missed 6 of 7 free throws in the final 3:49, two free throws by Burton with 1:48 left and and Anthony Perry’s driving layup with 1:14 left drew them even.
Virginia had a chance at the last shot, but Hand’s attempt in traffic was swatted away and Burton’s half-court heave hit hard against the backboard.