New England College, a national collegiate ski power, will play Georgetown University tonight. The competition, however, will not be on the slopes. It will be basketball, the sport in which Georgetown in a national power.
New England's basketball record the last three seasons is 7-47, but no one seems to mind. Georgetowni s 14-1 this season.
The 8 p.m. game at McDonough Gym was scheduled was scheduled when NBC wanted the Holy Cross-Georgetown game originally set today, moved to a more suitable date.
The only other area team at home will be George Washington. The Colonials will play on 8 p.m. game against 5-9 Campbell College, in its first Division 1 season after finishing runner-up in the NAIA national tournament last year.
Other games will find North Carolina State at Virginia (WJLA-TV-7 2 p.m.) in an Atlantic Coast Conference So Rienzo and the basketball staff sellout; American U. at Richmond, and Navy at Fordham.
The likely question for New England College is: Can the Pilgrims find the thrill of defeat?
Absolutely, said Athletic Director George Hamilton in a telephone interview from the 1,125-student college's Henniker, N.H., campus yesterday.
get add two
add two advance
"This game will do us good in terms of being in that area for student recruitment and, for our team, it will be the thrill of playing a nationally ranked team," Hamilton said.
New England plays 15 sports, all at the Division 111 level, except skiing, in which the Pilgrims are Division 1. The Pilgrims have excelled at their level also in cross-country, tennis and golf. But the problem with basketball, Hamilton said, is that there are no tall walk-ons.
Georgetown Athletic Director Frank Rienzo explained how this small, private liberal arts college ended up on the Georgetown schedule.
The ECAC asked Georgetown to move the Holy Cross game to Jan. 21, so NBC could televise it regionally. That date is listed in preseason Georgetown schedules. Then, the ECAC called again, and asked Georgetown to move the game to Feb. 25.
That left Georgetown with two consecutive open Saturdays, and the Hoyas were one game under the NCAA limit anyway.
started calling around - after the season started - trying to schedule a game tonight. Rienzo estimated they called 150-200 schools. At New Hampshire College, Athletic Director Tom Sullivan told Hoya assistant coach Billy Stein he thought New England College had an opening.
Rienzo called Hamilton, and the game was set. According to Hamilton, he told Rienzo the level of his program and Rienzo assured him that the Hoyas would not rub it in.
The financial arrangements: Georgetown will play all of New England's expenses. Rienzo said the Pilgrims could choose their method of transportation.The bus ride, on which the Pilgrims left yesterday, was scheduled to take 10-12 hours.
"We had a problem," said Rienzo. "They are helping us solve the problem, and they felt there was some good in helping us solve it."
Meanwhile, GW is trying to recover from flu. Coach Bob Tallent cancelled yesterday's practice, instead going over the Campbell scouting report. Campbell went Division 1 this season and, according to Tallent, was scheduled as an accomodation to that school because it needed one more game to qualify as Division 1 and GW had the date available.
GW can improve its record to 11-5 by winning tonight. It would mark the third straight year the Colonials would be 11-5 after 16 games. Two years ago, they finished 20-7. Last season, after beating Maryland to go11-5, they won only three more times and ended 14-12.