Hoyas and Terps: Far From Home, Far Apart

Georgetown 75, Maryland 48

Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, December 1, 2008; Page E01

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla., Nov. 30 -- With a storied history between them and 15 years' pent-up demand for a regular season rematch, Sunday's showdown between Georgetown and Maryland had the makings of a classic.

It was a rout instead, with Georgetown snuffing out Maryland's shooting star Greivis Vasquez (held to two points) and staging its most complete offensive performance this season.

The result was a 75-48 Hoyas victory that lifts their record to 4-1 and represented a third-place finish in the Old Spice Classic's field of eight.

But it meant far more to the players involved.

"Bragging rights," said Georgetown senior guard Jessie Sapp, who teamed with Chris Wright to hold Vasquez to 1-of-7 shooting.

Though Sapp is from New York rather than Washington, he knew well the symbolism behind the victory -- even if the game was played 850 miles from either campus -- and raised his arms as he watched the final minutes from the sideline, coaxing the sparse Hoyas fan contingent to an ovation.

The game marked the resumption of a series that for decades conferred basketball hegemony in the Washington area. Georgetown dominated in the 1940s and '50s. Maryland gained the upper hand in the '70s. But the Hoyas bowed out of the annual tilt shortly after signing on as a charter member of the Big East Conference in 1979, and a dispute over which school owes the other the next "home" game has stalled talk of a resumption.

They have met just twice since 1981 -- a 1993 game at USAir Arena, and a round-of-16 meeting in the 2001 NCAA tournament -- with Maryland winning both.

The rooting section for both teams was thin Sunday at the 5,000-seat Milk House at Walt Disney World sports complex outside Orlando.

Still, most of the players who jogged onto the court knew each other well, having grown up playing ball in the Washington area. Three starters on each team were from Maryland or Northern Virginia. So the game should have sizzled with the passion of a playground showdown.

But Maryland (4-2) came out flat and off-target, missing seven of its first nine shots. Vasquez was held scoreless in the first half and turned the ball over four times in a frantic attempt to find his teammates.

Coach Gary Williams sent him to the bench for the final 11 minutes of the game and remained perplexed afterward.

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