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At 'Real Home,' Hoyas Roll Over Titans

Georgetown 74, Cal State Fullerton 57

By Camille Powell
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 23, 2005; Page D05

The Cal State Fullerton men's basketball team traveled a long and arduous road just to get to Washington and face Georgetown in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament last night. The Hoyas, meantime, had a short walk.

Georgetown dominated the Titans in a 74-57 victory in front of a raucous, standing-room-only crowd of 2,604 packed inside McDonough Gym. The Hoyas have not lost in their cozy on-campus arena since 1982.

Cal State Fullerton's Yaphett King, center, gets stopped at the basket by Georgetown's Ashanti Cook, left, and Jeff Green as the Hoyas dominated. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais -- AP)

NIT Second Round

Davidson (23-8) at Maryland (17-12)

What: Second round, National Invitation Tournament.

When: 8 tonight, ESPN2.

Where: Comcast Center.

Tickets: $25, which includes parking fee.

Data: The Terrapins have not played for a week, since they rallied from a 13-point deficit to beat Oral Roberts at home in the first round. Forward Travis Garrison led four Maryland players in double figures with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Guard Mike Jones, making his third career start, made three three-pointers en route to an 18-point effort. Davidson already has two victories in the NIT. The Wildcats beat Virginia Commonwealth, 77-62, in Richmond and earned an 82-71 road victory against Southwest Missouri State. Should the Terrapins win, they likely will host an early-afternoon game Saturday in the third round. Maryland point guard John Gilchrist, who did not play in last week's game because of a sprained ankle, has said that he will probably play tonight.

-- Eric Prisbell

"Playing at home on campus isn't bad, eh?" Coach John Thompson III said with a grin.

"I like playing here," said junior forward Brandon Bowman, who made 7 of 9 shots and finished with a game-high 19 points. "We make more shots, there's a better vibe. This is where we practice, this is our real home."

The Hoyas had to move the game to McDonough, where they hadn't played a postseason game since 1993, because the circus has taken over MCI Center for the week.

Georgetown (19-12) will face South Carolina in a quarterfinal Thursday in Columbia, S.C. The Gamecocks (17-13) beat visiting UNLV, 77-66, last night.

Fullerton was playing its third straight road game, following an overtime win at Oregon State and an 85-69 victory at San Francisco. The Titans have been on the road for seven of the past eight days and have traveled through seven airports.

The Titans (21-11) had only eight players in uniform last night, including one who had played 18 minutes this season. They lost their best player, forward Ralphy Holmes (the Big West's leading scorer and rebounder), to an injured knee against San Francisco. Their backup point guard, John Clemmons, broke a bone in his right foot the night before the Oregon State game.

"I think the only thing we feel bad about is that we felt that we've had a good team all year and we've had a good year, but this was a bad stage to show it on national television," said Coach Bob Burton, whose team was making its first appearance on ESPN since Jan. 29, 1990. "We didn't feel this was really our team. . . . It would've been fun to have [Holmes and Clemmons] here."

The short bench limited the Titans, who like to push the ball up and down the court. But the Hoyas didn't go into the game thinking that they would try to run against the Titans.

"If the opportunity is there, we'll push it, if it's not, we won't," Thompson said. "We've done that all year. . . . To all of a sudden come in and try to do something different, I didn't think that was wise."

Georgetown opened the game by trying to work the ball inside to freshman Jeff Green, who scored eight of the Hoyas' first 13 points. And the Hoyas wound up having several chances to run, thanks to their defense, which produced seven steals (three by freshman Jonathan Wallace). Wallace picked off a pass in the first half that led to one of the game's highlights: He threw the ball ahead to senior Darrel Owens, who slung it back to a cutting Bowman, who finished the play with an emphatic dunk. That sequence gave the Hoyas a 27-18 lead with 6 minutes 21 seconds left in the half.

Bowman, Owens, Green and Wallace combined to score 60 of the Hoyas' 74 points. The foursome was very efficient, making a combined 24 of 35 shots (69 percent), including 9 for 17 (53 percent) from beyond the three-point arc.

Junior Ashanti Cook had nine points, and added a team-high 10 rebounds and six assists. Green blocked six shots in 23 minutes, before fouling out on what would have been his seventh block of the night.

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