Patrick Ewing had just watched Mac McClung in a buzzer-beating three-pointer from well beyond the top of the key to the game in overtime, witnessed a similarly heroic three from James Akinjo best performance from Jessie Govan.
After all the drama of Georgetown's 96-90 double-overtime victory over Providence, Ewing needed to loosen his tie.
It was just a few seconds left in Saturday's game when the second-year coach slid the dark blue necktie through his hands, folded it in half twice and then chucked it towards the end of the bench at the Capital One Arena – with what felt like a huge sigh of relief.
Not only had Ewing's Hoyas finally pulled out to close win after losing two Big East games in heartbreaking fashion, but Georgetown also notched its first win against Edo Cooley's Friars since 2014. The Hoyas' win in front of 10.113 boisterous fans was their first victory over Providence in nine tries.
Ewing was still breathing heavily when he arrived at his news conference. 15 minutes after the final buzzer.
"I can not worry about what happened in the past," Ewing said. "I'm proud of the guys" "I'm proud of the guys."
Georgetown's three-point overtime loss at home against St. John's a week ago and an 81-75 road loss at Xavier in which the Hoyas surrendered a 17-point lead in the first half. On Saturday, the victory required a full-team effort – and provided Ewing with a buffet of praiseworthy performances.
Govan led the Hoyas with a career-high 33 points in addition to 14 rebounds and four blocks Freshman point guard Akinjo had 20 points – including the three-pointer to force and second overtime – and nine assists. Jamorko Pickett impressed with the best defense he has played all season against Providence's Alpha Diallo (24 points), one of the top scorers in the Big East.
The team's second unit, led by freshman Grayson Carter, earned a shout-out from Ewing for the Hoyas out of an 11-0 hole in the first half.
But it was McClung who stood out perhaps most of all.
In the freshman, the guardian is the first to play a game of overtime. He took an inbounds pass with 3.9 seconds remaining.
"I was so excited," said McClung, who finished with 16 points in his first game. back since the injury. "I feel about myself."
Saturday – which featured clash shots, excellent defense and boneheaded moves on offense almost in equal parts.
With 2:38 to play, Govan three-pointer to get Georgetown within two points of a lead they had spent almost the entire game chasing and pickett, defending Diallo, forced to shot clock to give the Hoyas a chance to tie.
Pickup lost control of the ball on the other end
On Providence's next possession, Pickett's defense on a dial-up held again and the sophomore pulled down to a big offensive rebound on the other end to get After Diallo got free for a three-pointer, Ewing called a timeout.
With 10 seconds left and his team trailing by one, Akinjo bucked his coach.
"I got mad at James at the end of regulation," Ewing said, "but he made up for it in overtime, both overtimes … Freshmen are going to be freshmen, and they're growing up. They're growing up. "
Cooley called back-to-back timeouts but his team did not kick McClung when he had the chance to the end of regulation, and his fans in the Capital One Arena to their feet.
Akinjo's three-seconds left in overtime sent the game into another extra period and the Hoyas controlled for the final four minutes, during which
"They made winning plays at the end and we did not, offensively," Cooley said.
Nate Watson (21 points), Drew Edwards (19 points) and Isaiah Jackson (13 points) joined Providence's Diallo in double figures.
Georgetown edged the Friars in rebounds, 50-45, and points in the paint, 40-38. Govan, who scored 24 of his 33 in the second half.
"I'm tired of seeing his [butt], "Cooley joked afterward about Govan.
It was turned to the right No. 20 Marquette at home Tuesday.
"It feels good. Me, my first win over Providence, I was looking forward to. Mac is now undefeated against Providence, I know that's cool, "Govan said with a smile. "… Even when we were down in both overtimes, guys were able to step up and hit shots. I know I think that shows a lot about our team and about our heart. "