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Extra Effort: Seton Hall Had Sixth Man on Court

January 31, 2003|From Associated Press

Seton Hall used a couple of extras to beat Georgetown in a Big East basketball game -- overtime and a sixth man on the court.

The Big East acknowledged Thursday that Seton Hall had six men on the court for the final seconds of regulation in a game the Pirates won, 93-82, in overtime on Wednesday.

"We're dealing with it internally," associate commissioner John Paquette said.

Paquette said the result of Wednesday night's game cannot be changed.

Georgetown Coach Craig Esherick refused to comment. He went on a tirade earlier this season about the way the officials treated star forward Mike Sweetney in a game against West Virginia. One official, Mike Kitts, worked both games against West Virginia and Seton Hall.

The sixth-man incident occurred after Georgetown called a timeout to set up its defense with 12 seconds left in regulation and the score tied at 72-72.

When the Pirates walked on the court, no one noticed six players came out. Esherick didn't see six. Seton Hall Coach Louis Orr didn't notice the error and neither did the officials -- Kitts, Les Jones and Fran Connolly.

There was a tie-up with seven seconds to play, but Seton Hall retained possession.

On the ensuing inbounds play under the basket, Marcus Toney-El fed Damion Fray for an alley-oop dunk and a 74-72 lead with 6.4 seconds left. Georgetown rushed the ball up the court and Gerald Riley scored to tie it at 74-74, forcing overtime.

If the officials had noticed the six men on the court, they could have called a technical foul on Seton Hall and given the Hoyas two free throws. Since the officials are independent contractors, the conference cannot take disciplinary action against them, Paquette said. The conference could take away future assignments.

This was the second time this season the opposition had six players on the floor against Georgetown. South Carolina did it on Dec. 5 after a timeout. However, the officials noticed the extra man as the Gamecocks began to bring the ball up the floor and called a technical foul.

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