Georgetown broke out of its recent slump in high step last night, dominating the offensive backboards and playing what Coach John Tompson called "our best 40 minutes of basketball this season" in an 87-62 rout of Seton Hall.
What figured to be a fairly close game -- Georgetown was ranked No. 5 in the East, Seton Hall No. 9 -- turned into an early rout as Georgetown exploited its overwhelming edge in quickness to open a 15-point lead in the first half and increase it to 20, at 60-40, which 14:52 to play at McDonough Arena.
The loss dropped seton Hall's record to 14-7. Georgetown, which had been ranked as high as No. 9 nationally before two straight recent losses, is 18-4.
Thompson said, "We've been... tight and struggling and that's the loosest we've played in a long time."
But Georgetown's victory was tempered somewhat because team captain Steve Martin suffered a scratched cornea from an accidental fingernail in his right eye early in the second half.
Martin left the gym with a patch over the eye after complaining of double vision. His status for Wednesday's Stonehill hame is uncertain.
Freshman Eric Smith, Martin's replacement, hit the basket that gave the Hoyas their 60-40 lead.
At that point, more than a third of Georgetown's points had come as a direct result of offensive rebounds and half came either on offensive rebounds or fast breaks.
Besides center Tom Scates, who seldom scores, Georgetown's other four starters continued the balanced scoring that had carried the Hoyas to ninth in the polls.
John Duren scored 23 for the Hoyas. Floyd scored 20 and so did Craig Shelton, who added 14 rebounds. Nick Galis, the East's leading scorer, almost maintained his 26.6 average, with 24 for the losers.
Despite the loss of star forward Marc Coleman, who has sat out the past four games with a broken wrist, Seton Hall started strong, opening a 62 lead. But it was only a sense of false security, once Georgetown got into stride for its best sustained effort of the season.
Floyd, the freshman guard whose six-for-25 shooting slump was listed as a prime reason for Georgetown's recent woes, was a man for all occasions last night.
He had six of Georgetown's 18 offensive -rebound points in the first half. And he did a creditable job of denying the basketball to Galis. But the sellout crowd will best remember a half-court alley-oop pass he tossed to Shelton early in the first half.
Shelton, on the front end of a fast break, leaped to the hoop, caught the ball and dropped it into the basket for an 18-13 lead. When Scates blocked a shot on Seton Hall's next possession, the Hoyas turned it into another fast break, Floyd feeding Duren for a layup and a 20-13 lead.
In quick order, Georgetown had a 34-21 lead and the outcome seemed just about assured.
Thompson called the Floyd feed to Shelton "the key basket in terms of getting our motivation and the fans going."
Floyd came out of his slump late in the first half of Georgetown's 62-60 victory at St. Peter's Wednesday. The 6-foot-3 freshman did so after Thompson delivered an ultimatum to the player who suddenly became too bashful to shoot: Shoot the ball or don't play.
"Sleepy's a good all-round basketball player and that's what I've been trying to tell him," Thompson said. "If he lets his whole game be predicated on his shooting, he's cheating himself."
Last night, Floyd missed 13 of 19 shots, but his other values were immeasurable and the Hoyas made it a runaway because of their quickness and inside power that accounted for so many follow-up baskets.
Two possession were as telling as any in the game concerning the offensive rebounding.
In the middle of Georgetown's early surge, Duren missed a jumper. Scates recovered the rebound and was fouled going back up. He made the first, but missed the second. However, Martin used his quickness to control the rebound and Floyd converted a 20- footer.
On another first-half incident, Georgetown gave a power-rebounding clinic. Martin missed the original shot. Reserve center Ed Spriggs missed the follow-up, but Shelton converted that miss and the Hoyas led, 41-28.
The Hoyas let a 21-point lead, 63-42, slip carelessly down to a 63-48 advantage prompting Thompson to call a timeout and talk to them. They came back and increased the margin to as many as 27 points.