WASHINGTON -- Who knows when or if Georgetown and Maryland will continue their renewed head-to-head series. History says don't hold your breath. Then again, Tuesday's matchup at Verizon Center was the first time the schools met in consecutive years since the 1970's. Perhaps they keep this going next year whether in the Gavitt Tipoff Games or not.
If so, maybe the Hoyas will have finally gotten over the pain of a devastating collapse.
After L.J. Peak fueled what looked like a game-determining spurt, Georgetown led the foul-plagued game by nine points with 4:25 remaining. The Blue and Gray faithful could taste victory.
Bile showed up instead.
Maryland guard Melo Trimble scored 22 points and hit two free throws with seven seconds left for a 76-75 win.
The Hoyas (1-1) had this one. They led by nine points with 2:21 remaining. Isaac Copeland split a pair of free throws to put Georgetown up 73-68 with 29 seconds on the clock as the crowd roared.
Maryland (2-0) kept coming. Trimble's easy layup cut the lead to one. The inbounds pass came to Tre Campbell, who moments earlier sank two free throws as the Terps resorted to fouling. Another trap came Campbell's way, but no foul. Oh, Maryland coach Mark Turgeon wanted one. His players thought better.
The defenders held off, leaving the call to Campbell. Deep in the backcourt, he dribbled toward the sideline. He stepped out of bounds.
Maryland threw the subsequent inbounds pass into the backcourt. The game's two stars, Peak and Trimble, jumped. Trimble got the ball. Peak got his fifth foul and the game’s 56th. After Trimble's two free throws, Georgetown freshman Jagan Mosely drove for a possible game-winning layup. Maryland freshman Kevin Huerter swatted the shot. Game over. Heads down.
Peak, saddled with foul trouble in the first half, scored 19 of his 21 points in the second half. Rodney Pryor had 14 points for the Hoyas, but traveled in the backcourt with 18 seconds left.
The rematch between Georgetown and Maryland wasn't about style points. It sure was fouled up.
Defense dominated as did the officials, who relentlessly blew their whistles as if they had quotas to fill in this series and feared the next head-to-head battle might not come soon. Based on the infrequent meetings, such concerns likely ran through the minds of all watching from the stands. Based on the intense work from both sides, let's hope that's not the case.
There also weren't many actual points for sizeable stretches as the local foes still working on reestablishing a rivalry put in work stopping each other. That seemingly led to as many scrums as scores, especially from the field.
Georgetown shot a miserable 32 percent from the field, but a glorious 37 of 42 from the free throw line. One of those misses came in the final frenzy from Copeland, who finished with 13 points and 13 rebounds. He had 10 points and seven rebounds in the first half as the teams entered halftime tied 31-31.
Justin Jackson scored 17 points for the Terps, who shot 44.8 percent from the field but made 15 of 29 (51.7) in the second half.
Maryland won last year's matchup 75-71 in College Park. The two sides last played in consecutive years in 1978-79. Credit the Gavitt Tipoff Games for getting the infrequent adversaries on the same court. Tuesday's game was only the fifth since 1980. No rematch is on the books yet. If there's a trilogy next season, perhaps the bumps and bruises from all the loose ball diving and charge-taking will heal by then.
Whether the referees were overzealous or not -- and they were -- the Hoyas took advantage by doing something not always associated with recent teams under coach John Thompson III: They attacked. Then they attacked and then they attacked some more.
Then Maryland, desperate for a reversal turned up the pressure. Then the lead went away.
Whether the series will go away or stay is the big picture question. That wasn't on the mind of the Hoyas as the Terps celebrated the instant classic on Georgetown's home floor. That's the future. The present, just pain and the taste off victory never actually savored.