Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
Flying elbows and hips, not deft shots and finesse passes, are the Georgia Bulldogs' natural black-and-blue habitat in the bruising Southeastern Conference. So in desperation last night the Georgetown Hoyas introduced the pushy Georgians to Tommy Scates, the 255-pound junior center who is respectfully called Mt. Scates on the Hilltop.
Sooner than Georgia could look up at him and say, "There goes the championship of the First Annual Hoya Invitational Tournament. Scates had ignited a 23-12 second-half Hoya burst that carried GU to a 66-60 victory in the final of its four-team event.
When the 6-11 Scates entered with 16 minutes to play, GU trailed, 44-38. Georgia's Lucius Foster and Lavon Mercer, both 6-10 and mean, were taking names under the glass.
Georgetown's all-skinny fronthcourt players fought gamely but it was a losing tug of war between two bands of Bulldogs, one of them with much bigger teeth.
Several six-point Hoya leads had disappeared and three unanswered baskets, one of them a slam-dunk by a flashy guard - had the hosts on the ropes.
When GU's only healthy semblance of a big man, 6-9 Ed Hopkins, got his third foul it was time to call for the erratic but always willing Scates.
With Craig (Big Sky) Shelton and 7-foot Mike Frazier injured and in street clothes, Scates was the only policeman on the block for coach John Thompson to summon.
Foster and Mercer encountered Scates quickly, much to their displeasure. In one awesome 10-second sequence Scates forced Mercer to change to shot to avoid a block, spun and stuffed Foster, whirled again and jammed Mercer, then frightened Foster into an air ball from six feet.
The roaring crowd of 3.079 was on its feet and glad it had taken break from studying for the mid-term exams that began Monday morning. Scates had already passed his first test.
Georgia was still ahead, 46-41, but the game had changed. "They were used to looking down at people," said 6-4 Steve Martin who went head-to-head with the 6-10 Foster until Scates arrived. "I don't think they enjoyed looking up for a change."
Thompson sensed the turn of the tide and went to his biggest lineup of Scates, Hopkins and 6-7 Al Dutch.
"Tommy changed the balance of power," said Hopkins who had his usual diligent 12 points and eight rebounds. "All of a sudden I could lean on somebody my own size."
GU's running game revived up for whirlwind pace. Star guards Derrick Jackson and John Duren were the openfield star. They scored 18 and 17 points respectively for the night and combined for 13 in the decisive 23-12 binge.
In just 10 minutes Scates had eight rebounds, three blocks and three points. Just as important, Foster got in fould trouble and went to the bench, while Mercer developed a limp.
Scates departed with 4:15 left at 61-56. GU's lightning four-corner offense left Georgia breathless and well behind, 66-58, in the last minute.
Jackson, named tourney MVP for his 40 points in two nights, prowled in the Georgia passinglanes and made four thefts off fastbreaks and snafued as many more.
The lightweigh forwards, Martin of New Orleans and Dutch of D.C., particularly delighted Thompson with their determined rebounding - 10 and 11 respectively.
"I call Martin the Louisiana sandman because he puts 'em to sleep, then kills 'em," said Thompson. "Anad I think we saw the new Al Dutch tonight. He played a really fine all-court game (14 points and flawless ballhandling)."