Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
Georgetown turned what its coach plotted into what its coach wanted and came away last night with its first basketball victory over Maryland in John Thompson's seven years of directing the Hoyas.
"I didn't want a war. I wanted a chess game," Thompson said after GU's 68-65 triumph in the second game of Capital Centre's tipoff double-header before 8,100 fans.
Navy whipped American University 89-78, in the first game.
Freshman guard Eric (Sleepy) Floyd supplied the scoring (28 points) for Georgetown as the Hoyas slowed and controlled the tempo to take a fivepoint lead into the final 3 1/2 minutes of the game.
At the point, Georgetown kept its poise, even when its floor leader, John Duren, fouled out with 2:28 to play, while Maryland played with the panic of a team down five points with 15 seconds to play, instead of 3 1/2 minutes.
"We played right into their hands the way we ended up shooting the jump shot," said Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell. "That's when we want to get the ball inside. We didn't get any fouls or second shots. We didn't play with our heads and lost our poise at the end . . . We just choked."
So, now, Maryland is 1-1 and taking its young team (three freshmen among the top seven players) on a three-game road trip starting Saturday at Air Force and including a Monday date at Nevada-Las Vegas.
Georgetown takes a 2-0 record into a Saturday home game against rival St. Bonaventure. The Hoyas, besides the fact they kept their poise, are still unbeaten because of two strategic moves by Thompson.
Early in the game, the Hoyas had been pressing full court and Maryland was getting some easy baskets as a result, opening as much as a seven-point lead. In the second half, Thompson called off the press, slowed the pace and spread the offense.
At onepoint Maryland went to a zone, and the Hoyas, leading by a point a 56-55, passed the ball around for more than two minutes without shooting. When the Terrapins did return to man-to-man defense, GU's Steve Martin shook loose from Al King and made a jumper from six feet."We wanted to keep them on defense longer," said Thompson. "We've still got a develop depth. That's why we had to play a short game in the second half."
The strategy also turned Georgetown's quickness into a big advantage. When the Hoyas ran their offense, it usually resulted in one beating his man to the hoop to convert one of Duren's eight assists or in Floyd connecting on 26 of Georgetown's 40 points during the middle of the game.
"We tried to open it up wide because we have good quickness inside and good shooters outside," said team captain Martin.
"Once they began to tighten up inside, we have Floyd to shoot from the outside, and he can shoot."
Asked whether he felt any pressure, the 6-foot-3 Floyd from Gastonia, N.C., said: "I've been in many games like this I love the pressure. You either do it or you don't."
He connected on 11 of 18 shots, the type taken - and frequently made - the past three seasons by Derrick Jackson, Georgetown's all-time leading scorer and the only starter the Hoyas lost off last season's 23-8 team.
Maryland had opportunites to win at the end, but could not convert. For instance, on the same possession, Ernest Graham and King both missed layups that would have cut the Hoya lead to a point.
A little later, Martin knocked the ball away from Buck Williams when the Terp freshman went up with a shot near the basket with 1 1/2 minutes to play. Still later, frosh guard Dutch Morley, who played some good defense, bounced a pass too hard for King to control.
That was Maryland's last chance.Freshman Eric Smith sank two free throws 15 seconds later and the Hoyas led, 68-63 with 22 seconds left. Around those, the Terps missed at least five jump shots from 20 feet or deeper. And Hoya forward Craig (Big Sky) Shelton was there to control the rebounds.
King led Maryland with 19 points and Graham had 16.
Graham posted 10 of those points in the first half, when Maryland led by as many as seven points. Driesell's new system of shuttling players at prearranged times probably hurt the Terps late in the opening period when Graham took his turn on the bench after making three long jumpers, the shortest from 20 feet.
The last of those three gave Maryland a 33-26 lead. Driesell made 17 substitutions on the half and the Hoyas came back to trail by only 37-36 at intermission.
"I made up my mind I was going to do it tonight, for better or for worse," Driesel said about this season's new plan of substitution.
In the first game, Navy took advantage of AU's inability to play good defense or rebound adequately for the first 30 minutes of the game, by which time the Midshipmen led, 65-45.
Suddenly, AU's defense became more aggressive and Navy's sharp-shooters who connected with about 60 percent accuracy for the first 30 minutes, began missing. The Eagles came within five points, at 79-74, before Navy wrapped up the game at the foul line.
Navy played magnificently in building its 20-point lead. The Midshipmen handled AU's full-court press with only one turnover, manhandled the Eagles on the backboards and took AU out of its offense with a defensive effort that left Eagle star Boo Bowers bewildered.
Bowers took the opening tap and scored on a breakaway layup. Those were his only points until the game's 32nd minute. Teammate Stan Lamb scored 32 but they were not enough to overcome 30 by Navy star Kevin Sinnett and 18 by guard Bruce Grooms.
AU's defensive strategy was to overplay Sinnett in an effort to keep the 6-foot-7 forward from catching the ball while allowing Navy long-range shots and hoping the Mids would miss them. Au failed to control Sinnett and the Mids didn't miss much.
Sinnett had 22 of Navy's first 55 points. Grooms' contribution was more unexpected. He scored 12 first-half points missing only one shot and making four 20-footers. He also made the key steal in an 11-2 Navy spurt that gave the Mids a 47-35 halftime lead.
Despite showing a 32-26 rebounding advantage at the finish, AU had only 10 first-half rebounds, none on the offensive boards, another factor the accounted for Navy's early domination.
It was annouced prior to the doubleheader that the two-day tournament format of last year would be resumed and a contract had been signed for the next two years, with an option for two more. Scheduling problems caused the switch to a one-night twin bill this year.