William and Mary rolled to an 83-70 victory tonight over George Washington in a controversial game.
George Washington's star guard, John Holloran, was thrown out for fighting early in the game, bringing on bitter comment by GW coach Bob Tallent.
"I believe they set up our best player to get in a fistfight and get thrown out of the game," said Tallent. "I hope it wasn't deliberate on their part . . . maybe it wasn't . . . we'll never know . . . But I sure thought it was."
Only three days ago, Holloran played the game of his life, scoring 38 points in GW's first victory over Maryland in 16 years.
Tonight, Holloran lasted 4 minutes 28 seconds before getting in a brawl with W&M's low-scoring Mike Enoch. The referees, after initially appearing to allow both players to shake hands and stay in the game, ejected both. "Some trade," snorted Tallent. "Our best starter for their worst."
"From 38 points to zero in one game," said the somber Holloran afterward, trying to cheer up his parents who had made a 3 1/2-hour drive to see him play. "He hit me in the eye, the head. I said. 'Dadgone, I'm not going to take this and I went after him. It wasn't even a good fight. Nobody got hit. I've never seen anyone disqualified so quick. I couldn't believe it."
But, Holloran added, tellingly, "I don't think I'll be getting in any more fights. It's not very smart."
The 10 seconds of punching clearly overshadowed the 40 ragged minutes of basketball. W&M led, 7-6, before the do-damage fisticuffs, but had leaped ahead, 49-28, by halftime. GW became disoriented with its offensive head cut off.
"Losing John just took the air out of us," said Tallent. "We regrouped in the second half (twice cutting the deficit to 11 points), but we had two forwards playing guard after Tom Tate fouled out. It was kind of ridiculous."
GW's offense was reduced to an assortment of one-on-one moves, followed by playground jump shots by Les Anderson (15 points) and Bucky Roman (20). Just as damaging were W&M's inside men, who consistently worked off picks to get easy inside shots.
The Indians' slow, thin but sneaky big men did almost all the damage as no W&M guard had more than one basket. The Indians' John Lowenhaupt, with 23 points in the first 24 minutes, showed show a 6-5 forward with few muscles, little speed and about a six-inch vertical leap could bamboozle a 7-foot-2 center like Kevin Hall.
The Holloran-Enoch fight started and ended quickly. The 6-6 Enoch, who had been playing Holloran roughly on defense, held the ball over his head at the top of the circle. Holloran poked it free and went for a steal. Enoch pivoted and with his back to Holloran, shoved his hand in the GW player's face.