March 5, 2024

Emanuel Miller scored 29 points and his desperation 3-point, running bank shot at the buzzer carried TCU past Georgetown 84-83 in a thriller Saturday in a Big East/Big 12 Battle contest in Washington.

But not without some controversy.

Replay showed Miller stepped on the right sideline with his left foot just before releasing the ball. Though officials reviewed the play, because they missed Miller stepping out-of-bounds in real time, by rule they couldn’t overturn the shot.

Jayden Epps sank a pair of foul shots with 2.7 seconds left to give Georgetown an 83-81 lead. On the inbounds, TCU’s Micah Peavy ran the baseline, and like a quarterback rolling to the right to evade pressure, threw the ball on a near-straight line to Miller who caught it, turned, took a dribble and launched it before falling to the floor.

Despite the controversial ending, first-year Hoyas coach Ed Cooley said the one play wasn’t the sole reason his team lost.

“We had three of the best officials in America on our game today,” he told reporters. “High-level officials. Final Four officials. Regional final officials. The game is not defined by one play, all right, and that’s what everybody is going to talk about.

“We had opportunities throughout the game. We missed a lot of free throws, missed a couple of blockouts. Everybody’s always going to think of the last play, ‘What could’ve, should’ve.’ Give them credit. They had to throw the pass, the kid caught it and made the shot.”

Cooley did say he believes the rule in general should be evaluated.

“If they can review it to see if he was out-of-bounds and it could be reversed, then I think we do have to take a look at that,” he said. “Not because we’re on the other side, what’s in the best interest of the game. Not so much what’s in the best interest of Georgetown at this point. What’s in the best interest of the game to keep the game fair, equitable and even across the board.

“If he would have called him out-of-bounds and the ball went in, you can take a look at it and say, ‘Well, no basket.’ You look at it the other way, you can’t make the call because there was no call on the floor. Maybe it’s an opportunity for us to open up that and take a hard look at it to see if we can do that.”

Miller finished 12-for-18 shooting, JaKobe Coles scored 17 points and reserve Avery Anderson III had 11 for the undefeated Horned Frogs (7-0).

Epps scored 24 points, Dontrez Styles scored 18, reserve Ismael Massoud scored 16 points and Jay Heath scored 10 points for the Hoyas.

The Horned Frogs led 44-36 at halftime and extended the lead to 51-36 two minutes into the second half before Georgetown began its rally. Massoud and Heath made 3s and Epps made a layup to reduce the deficit to 57-54. Georgetown went ahead and led 81-75 before Jameer Nelson Jr. and Coles made consecutive 3s in a 10-second span to level the score with 1:29 left.

TCU hosts Clemson next Saturday while Georgetown will host Syracuse.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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