Craig Shelton stabilized Georgetown in the second half tonight and the Hoyas proceeded to rip previously undefeated Holy Cross 79:65, in the first round of the ECAC Holiday Festival basketball tournament.

The Hoyas advance to Thursday's 9 p.m. final against the winner of tonight's second game, between Alabama and Princeton.

The game started 18 minutes late because Georgetown coach John Thompson argued with referee Mickey Crowley and ECA officials over Crowley's refusal to let forward Craig (Big Sky) Shelton play with a brace on his broken right hand, his nonshooting hand.

Although Shelton was allowed to play wit the crace and protective padding nine days ago against St. Joseph's, Crowley cited Rule 2, Sec. 2 of the rulebook. It prohibits such a brace even with protective padding.

While Georgetown trainers retaped Shelton so he could play, the Hoyas started Al Dutch in Shelton's place and sprang to a 16-6 lead. They accomplished this on Steve Martin's outstanding all-round play on the intimidation and bulkness of 6 foot 11, 255-pound Tom Scates in the middle of the Hoyas zone defense.

Scates picked up three quick fouls and went to the bench. The Hoyas, ith a swarming defensive effort to double and triple team the ball, increased their lead 31-20 with ifve minutes left in the half. But Georgetown scored onlt two baskets in their remaining 11 possessions of the half and their lead was slashed to 37-32 at intermission.

Shelton played eight minuted but seemed shaken by the earlier events and was ineffective.

But Shelton came off the bench in the second half when the Hoyas' perimeter shooting fell off. Martin fed him with a pass and Shelton hit a 10-foot jumper for a 47-41 lead. That basket settled the Hoyas after Scates had quickly picked up a fourth foul.