Georgetown and Navy, two college basketball teams whose seasons have been on the upswing since they opened against each other, meet again tonight, at Georgetown (WEAM-1390, p.m.).
The Hoyas won that first meeting, 71-56, and since then have piled up a 10-2 record, including eight straight wins, and a high national ranking --12th by United Press International and 17th by Associated Press.
Navy, riding the abilities of Hank Kuzma and Kevin Sinnett, is off to an 8-4 start, its best in 13 years.
American University, also a hot team after a slow start, is the only other major area club at home tonight. The Eagles, 8-6 with seven victories in the last 10 games, face 9-5 Lafayette in an 8 p.m. tipoff at Ft. Myer.
Virginia, its perfect record shattered by North Carolina Saturday night, plays at Delaware in a nonleague game.Other games find Cecil Community College at Prince George's Community College, 6 p.m., and Montgomery-Rockville at Charles County Community College, 7:30.
Navy's chances against Georgetown tonight depend on an inconsistent outside game.When the Mids can take some of the inside pressure off Sinnett and Kuzma, they can play with most good teams, as evidenced by wins over Princeton, American and Old Dominion.
Bobby Scott, whose offensive rebound and follow-up basket in the final seconds accounted for a 56-55 Navy win over the Hoyas last season at Annapolis, has started to shoot more from his wings guard position.
The Mids have worried second-year coach Bob Hamilton with sloppy ball-handling of late. They committed 22 against Valparaiso.
Navy has been noted for its man-to-man defense. This will be tested tonight against a Georgetown team whose five starters all shoot with better than 50 per cent accuracy from the floor. Georgetown shot 64 per cent against the Mids in the first game.
Meanwhile, the Lafayette game is pivotal for AU. The toughest part of the Eagle schedule is coming up soon, including road games at William and Mary, La Salle, George Washington and Georgetown. The Eagles also have home games against Temple, St. Joseph's and Navy.
AU's recent success can be attributed to more consistent play by more starters, the emergence of forward Russell (Boo) Bowers as one of the most valuable freshmen in the East, and a bench that has come through repeatedly.
Lafayette is playing a different style of basketball under new coach Roy Chipman, who came from small-college power Hartwick to replace Tom Davis, now coach at Boston College.
The Leopards now play with much patience on offense, and Chipman has introduced the 1-3-1 zone trap as his team's primary defense. Phil Ness, a 6-foot-7 forward, leads Lafayette with a 16 points and seven rebounds per game.
Lafayette most recently defeated Army and Hawaii. Their five losses have been inflicted by St. John's Columbia, Notre Dame, Providence and Rhode Island.