Georgetown found an outmanned opponent willing to run with its nationally ranked basketball team last night, and the Hoyas, who have seemed so methodical in recent games, appeared to enjoy themselves in the 107-72 rout of North Carolina Central.
The happiest Hoya was junior guard Lonnie Duren, older brother of John Duren, the team's point guard and an All-America candidate. As the clock ticked down the final seconds of the first half, Lonnie Duren launched a 22-footer from the corner.
The ball hit the rim, bounced high and dropped through the hoop for the first points of his college career. He had been plagued by injuries his first two years and this was only his 16th career game. Nevertheless, when he passed up open shots in an earlier laugher, he said, "Don't worry. "I've still got a season left to score.
Last night, after the 14th-ranked (AP) Hoyas improved their record to 11-2, Lonnie Duren was all smiles in the McDonough Arena locker room.
"I think I was the only person in college basketball who hadn't scored," he said, after a four-point game in which he took one other shot and also made two free throws for a total of four points. "It felt good."
Lonnie Duren had seven assists in 36 minutes playing time prior to this game, and he said he would have passed up his shot that gave the Hoyas a 57-35 halftime lead had the clock not been running out.
"I looked and saw five seconds on the clock and put it up," he said. "If there had been 10 seconds, I would have given it back to Sleepy (Floyd). His range is better than mine."
That's a trait of this Georgetown team, unselfishness, and Coach John Thompson was happy he was able to give his younger players so much playing time for the fourth time in five games of the current seven-game home stand.
Last night, with Robert McClellan and Ed Roper having hot shooting hands, Central (now 1-8) stayed with the Hoyas for almost 13 minutes, before forward Craig Shelton scored nine points in a 13-2 spree that moved the score to 42-28, Georgetown.
McClellan, a 39 percent shooter this season, finished with 30 points on 15-for-25 bombing from the outside. But the Hoyas offset that with Floyd's 20, Shelton's 19 and 17 by forward Steve Martin.
Martin's mother Naomi came in from New Orleans to watch the Hoya captain play for the first time in college.
"I told Steve that since his mother came, it would be a day for him to remember," said Lonnie Duren. "He'll always remember my scoring. He always jokes about when am I going to put it up? In fact, everybody does. Tonight was my night."