Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
For Old Dominion, last night's crushing 80-58 victory over Georgetown at sold-out, madhouse McDonaugh Gym was sweet vindication.
Let anyone say now that this ECAC Southern Division playoff game should not have been played in the Runnin' Monarchs' home town - Norfolk.
Let even one voice try to say that ODU's schedule is a bunch of patsies and its 22-game winning streak a fluke.
And just let anyone even dare to think that Ronnie Valentine (36 points) and Wilson Washington (18 points, 14 rebounds) can't play with the big boys.
Old Dominion won with vengeance and showmanship last night over an injury-riddled Hoya team whose offense was in complete disarray.
When the 6-foot-9 Washington fired to the 6-7 Valentine for a two-handed tomahawk dunk for a 69-54 lead with 4:45 to play, the pair jumped and pranced in delight at midcourt, throwing their index fingers to the sky and tromping all over the face of the Georgetown Bulldog painted on the floor at that spot.
When the two graceful, high-leaping desperadoes pulled the sme trick with 47 seconds left, it was the entire delegation of 1,300 Runnin' Monarch fans in the packed stands who were in pandemonium, singing "Hey, hey, hey, goodbye" to the hosts and thundering out "O . . . D . . . U."
As delicious as this one-sided banquet of victory was for the Monarchs, it was just that bitter for GU.
In defeat the Hoyas had to bite their tongues and hold back the flood of excuses that could have come so easily to the lips.
GU's starting center, 6-9 Ed Hopkins, sprained his ankle in practice Tuesday afternoon and watched the debacle in street clothes. "Hop's injury didn't have a damn thing to do with this ball game," said GU coach John Thompson. But he knew it was a lie.
The 19-8 Hoyas also counted on John Duren, Larry Long and Gary Wilson, all of whome were playing their first games after injuries. "I don't want to get involved with crying," said Thompson.
But Thompson finally admitted his Hoyas "had to stay with a zone a lot longer than we wanted" because of the "personal situation."
The result was an acute overdose of the Old Dominion sharpshooter who did not appear to know that Valentine's Day was last month. Valentine, who came into the game with a 22.0-point average, surpassed that total before intermission as he hit 12 of 16 shots in the first half for a 44-32, ODU lead.
Early in the second half, GU made its one serious push.
Tom Seates, the 6-11 man mountain who is an unpredictable as an avalancehe, hit one of his inspired streaks, driving twice to draw Washington's second and third personal fouls, then drawing a Washington charge at the other end for No. 4.
Suddenly, after three quick whistles in the first 2:06 of the half, ODU had to lift its most important player. GU trailed only 47-36.
For the next 11 minutes Washington watched, head in hands. Georgetown watched, too, as its hopes for a third straight NCAA tournament berth and a second straight 20-game season went a glimmering.
With Washington out, GU could do next to nothing offensively against ODU's variety of zones. The hobbling Duren, who shot two for seven, could not penetrate, or if he did, he lost the ball. Al Dutch, who was supposed to be GU's 6-7 sophomore answer to ODU's 6-7 frosh Valentine, had one of his completely lost games, shooting one for nine and getting fooled by every head fake Valentine threw at him.
Of GU's steady scoring trio, only Derrick Jackson (20 points) was a factor and his nine for 20 percentage was remarkable considering ODU had him shooting from two steps deeper tha he likes.
GU, which has not shot under 41 per cent in a game all season, hit 32 per cent last night, 29 in the second half.
When Washington finally returned with 6:53 to play, ODU's lead had [WORD ILLEGIBLE] only from 11 to nine, 59-50. Washington immediately banked in a jumper and Valentine made a fast-break layup. Craig Shelton answered with a dunk, but Washington was back with a dunk of his own, then the pass to Valentine for the jam that made it 69-54. From here the game disintegrated with the lead reaching 80-57. At that point Washington and Valentine had 54 points to GU's 57.
For the Hoyas there was still hope for those 20 victories and a championship banner. "We would like to go to the NIT and I think we deserve a chance to go," said Thompson. "I wouldn't like to end on this note. We have some straightening out to do."