Charles Nailen/The Hoya The Bruins came in with a 4-14 record and handed the Hoyas their fifth straight loss.

It happened again.

For the third time in a streak of five losses, the Georgetown men’s basketball team lost by one point. But this time, instead of taking No. 10 Notre Dame or No. 4 Pittsburgh to the wire, the Hoyas succumbed to a 5-15 UCLA team that was on its longest losing streak since World War II.

“It hurts a lot. There are so many games this year that are just right there, and the next thing you know, a mistake or something happens that causes us to lose,” junior forward ike Sweetney said.

Adding insult to injury for Georgetown, its Big East foe Rutgers (2-6, 10-10) won against Boston College on Saturday, setting the stage for a battle for last place in the West Division tonight at the RAC. If Georgetown loses tonight, it will be in danger of missing the Big East tournament for the first time in its history.

The ending brought back memories of Georgetown’s recent close losses. Against Notre Dame on Feb. 1, the Hoyas had a chance to win the game when it was tied at the end of regulation but failed to get a shot off, and at the end of the second overtime, Hall found himself in a situation similar to Saturday’s, down one with four seconds to go – his shot was no good.

“[The close losses are] frustrating,” Head Coach Craig Esherick said, “but they’re frustrating for the [players] too. I think they want to win just as much as the coaches do. And it’s frustrating for everybody.”

UCLA’s Cedric Bozeman sunk two free throws with 4.9 seconds to go to put the Bruins up 71-70.

After a timeout, Georgetown sophomore guard Drew Hall dribbled the length of the court and threw up an errant three as time ran out. Esherick said the strategy in that situation was simply to “push the ball up the floor.”

Bozeman, who was shooting 48 percent from the stripe before Saturday, found himself at the line after a foul was called on Georgetown’s Tony Bethel in the scramble for a loose ball.

Although Esherick has earlier spoken out against the Big East referees, he may have missed their presence on Saturday, as Pac-10 officials decided the Hoyas’ fate, an agreement reached as part of the two-year, two-game deal between Georgetown and UCLA.

In the final seconds, with junior swingman Gerald Riley on the bench after his fifth foul and sophomore guard Bethel having a 2-12 shooting day, Esherick had few options.

“I was comfortable with the ball in Drew’s hands, of course, I wanted the ball, but I felt he could have done the same job I could have done.” Bethel said. “With 4.9 seconds left, you can’t run a play or anything. You just have to go with it and try and get a shot off.”

Down the stretch, the Hoyas found themselves without standout Sweetney, who is averaging 22.1 points per game, after he got into foul trouble on a few over-the-back calls.

“They were silly fouls, fouls that shouldn’t happen, and I think it hurt my team a lot,” Sweetney said.

In the first half, during which Sweetney saw just 11 minutes, the Hoyas had 12 points in the paint to UCLA’s 26. The Bruins’ big man, Ryan Hollins, had 18 in the first half without Sweetney to stop him. Several of the plays were breakaway dunks that got the sizable UCLA crowd at MCI Center into the game.

Sweetney’s absence was more of a factor than it would have normally been because the Hoyas were playing without senior center Wesley Wilson, who is usually able to give Sweetney a rest. Wilson is on a temporary leave of absence from the team and Georgetown.

Georgetown’s 31.4 shooting percentage in the first half also did not help the Hoyas. They went into the locker room down 38-32.

Georgetown did not make a sizable dent in UCLA’s lead until halfway through the second half, when a pair of Bowman free throws tied it at 49.

A three-pointer by Bethel got the Hoyas up by five, 61-56, with 5:40 remaining.

“The part of the game that really hurt us was when we went up five . with a couple minutes to go, and we let them get back in the game too quickly. Offensively, we didn’t do what we were supposed to, and defensively we didn’t do what we were supposed to,” Esherick said. “Clearly this was a game that we had a chance to win and didn’t.”

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