March 23, 1985, #1 ranked Georgetown outlasts #14 Georgia Tech in Providence to return to the Final Four. In 1985 the Hoya fans were often spoiled. It was rare that we did not win a game by at least 30 points. The Big East set a record that year sending 3 teams to the Final Four. If Syracuse did not unexpectedly falter it could have been 4 teams. I had an uneasy feeling going into the Georgia Tech game, as I suspected we were looking forward to a third meeting at the Final Four with the #2 ranked St. John's Redmen. Georgia Tech had a young team led by sharpshooter Mark Price, and John "Spider" Salley. Neither team shot well from the outside. The YellowJackets spread the floor not allowing the Hoyas to start their vaunted fast break. John Salley used his mobility to make Patrick Ewing chase him all over the court. Early in the second half Patrick Ewing, and Michael Jackson got their 4th fouls. Georgia Tech then started to use up the clock. Luckily, Mark Price was only 3-16 from the field. David Wingate led the defense, smothering Price and not allowing him to get good looks from the field. Coach Thompson smartly used his bench, as Horace Broadnax, and Grady Mateen helped pull the Hoyas ahead. Indeed the famed Hoya defense won this game. As the team cut down the nets, the Heart Attack Hoyas looked relieved. I can still picture Patrick Ewing lying on the floor, looking up to the heavens! It was one of those games when you could hear John Thompson, and Red Auerbach telling the team that if they could shut down their opponent during the key stretches of the second half, they would win the game! The defending national champion Hoyas had survived to reach another Final Four and fight another day.
We are Georgetown! Hoya Saxa!
Dr. Thomas A. Wong
Hoya Hoop Club Vice-President & Director of Communications
The Hoyas victory over Notre Dame in the semifinals of the 2007 BE Tournament will go down in the annals of MSG as one of the Garden's great college basketball games. Earlier that year, GU had routed the Irish 66-48 at Verizon Center as the Hoyas dominated Notre Dame in every aspect of the game. As I awaited the Friday night contest, I knew that we were in for a battle. The young and talented Notre Dame team had nothing to lose. They came out firing 3-ptrs from beyond the NBA 3-pt line. Every one of them seemed to be falling. Georgetown played well in the first half, but their 3-ptrs were not falling. In the second half Georgetown and Notre Dame went at each other. There were 13 lead changes and 9 ties in the second half alone. After Georgetown opened up a 7 pt lead late in the game, guard Tory Jackson went on a tear tying the game. It took a career performance from eventual Big East regular season & tournament MVP Jeff Green who had 30 pts and 12 rebounds to win the game. His jump hook with 13 seconds left, electrified the Garden crowd. Tory Jackson had a chance to win the game for the Irish, but some tough defense by Patrick Ewing, Jr. caused his shot to be off the mark. As the ball was tipped out to half court, Georgetown had survived a thriller to reach the finals of the Big East tournament. As I exited the Garden, I was relieved that Georgetown still had its "swagga," and had lived to fight another day. The Heart Attack Hoyas were back!
In one of the greatest comeback wins in Hoya history, Austin Freeman propels the DC Hoyas Fantastic Four to a victory in a Verizon Center Classic. We rarely see this at Georgetown, but Austin Freeman became a One Man Gang in the second half. The Hoyas were very inconsistent in the first half falling behind by 15 points. The second half would be a sign of the many exciting games to come in 2010. After close losses to Marquette, and Old Dominion, the Verizon Center was quiet after the Hoyas fell behind by 17 early in the second half. However, Austin Freeman led the way as Georgetown tied the game with about 7 minutes remaining in the contest. The last few minutes saw several lead changes as the Hoyas would triumph 72-69. Julian Vaughn's two handed tip in late in the game would be a big key to the Hoyas' win. Greg Monroe scored the last basket, andwill be missed this year as he goes on to star for the Detroit Pistons. The Hoyas will be led in 2010-11 by four returning starters who are all local products and former Washington Post All-Metropolitan selections. Indeed the DC Hoyas Fantastic Four of Austin Freeman, Chris Wright, Jason Clark, and Julian Vaughn will lead Georgetown starting with Midnight Madness 2010. Come to see the Verizon Center Rock! I cannot wait!
This is one of my all-time favorite Heart Attack Hoya games. A year after Reggie and the Miracles stole the hearts of the Georgetown faithful in Madison Square Garden, the Hoyas were rebuilding. Most people remember Charles Smith driving the length of the court with 6 seconds left to upset the Syracuse Orange in the Carrier Dome earlier that year. This Georgetown team was truly a blue collar team in between the Patrick Ewing era, and the arrival of Alonzo Mourning on the Hilltop. The Hoyas were having a very good 16-6 season but were reeling from recent losses on the road to Villanova and UCONN. Georgetown had an explosive backcourt of the emerging Charles Smith and Mark Tillmon. The front court was manned by Ben Gillery, Ronnie Highsmith, & Perry McDonald with Anthony Tucker, Sam Jefferson, Dwayne Bryant, Bobby Winston, Anthony Allen, and Jonathan Edwards coming off the bench. In fact the 6'4" Perry McDonald who was a defensive swingman for most of his Georgetown career was often playing center. Teams were taking advantabe of our frontcourt this year which was talented but very young. The Orange were hungry to defeat the Hoyas this year as they had a very powerful lineup with Sherman Douglas, Stevie Thompson, RonySeikaly, Derrick Coleman, and Matt Roe. RonySeikaly, and Derrick Coleman led what was probably the most imposing front line in college basketball.
At this point in time the Syracuse Orange had lost on all 9 of their visits to the DC area to play the Hoyas. The Orange came to the Capital Centre with a great deal of swagger, as nobody had been able to handle their massive front court. Everyone was predicting that the #11 Orange would defeat the Hoyas handily on this day, except for big John Thompson and Georgetown. As Georgetown was recovering from their Big East road losses, coach Thompson came up with a masterful game plan. Everyone was expecting Georgetown to spread the court and try to turn the game into a perimeter game. When the game started the Hoyas powered the ball inside for dunks and power moves by Ronnie Highsmith, and company. The Orange were caught completely by surprise as they did not expect for us to attack the strength of the Orange defense. The Hoyas led for most of the game with this strategy as they were fueled on by the sellout Capital Centre crowd. However, late in the second half the Orange finally took control of the game as Derrick Coleman, and RonySeikaly powered the Orange back. It was remarkable to see Perry McDonald, the former Golden Gloves boxing champ from Louisiana, play center against the much taller RonySeikaly for most of the game. Perry no longer had Reggie Williams or David Wingate with him. Perry was one of those players who could lose to anyone in "Horse," or a practice shoot around. He shot much better in big time situations especially when he was fouled or hit while shooting. Georgetown battled back to tie the game. In one of the most intense finishes of the Heart Attack Hoyas, Georgetown threw the ball directly into the post as they had done all day. Perry McDonald turned immediately into RonySeikaly in the high post and banked in a 12 footer as the game ended. It was Syracuse's 10th straight loss in DC against Georgetown without a win. The Orange would break that streak the following season, but not on this night. It was evidence that if you gave John Thompson a few days to come up with a game plan, he and the Hoyas were almost unbeatable at home. Coach Boeheim has recently called the Georgetown-Syracuse rivalry during the 1980's as the greatest, most intense rivalry in college basketball history. When I heard him make this statement, I thought to myself: "Really! Bigger than Duke-Carolina or any other rivalry?" When I thought about Perry McDonald's game winning shot on February 13, 1988 in Landover, Maryland I realized he was right. When I saw Perry McDonald at the 100th anniversary of Georgetown Basketball in 2007 I enjoyed many Georgetown fans thanking Perry and telling him that the Syracuse Orange never want to see him again. Let's not forget it was a team effort by all of the Hoyas. Everyone on that team executed the game plan to perfection. Thanks for the memories--Heart Attack Hoyas!