When things finally started looking rosy again for Georgetown's basketball team, team captain Steve Martin could see only through one eye. And at College Park, Maryland's Ernest Graham, uncharacteristally, was not looking for shots.
Martin suffered a scratched cornea early in the second half of Georgetown's 87-62 victory over visiting Seton Hall Saturday night. The 6-foot-4 senior small forward accidentally caught a fingernail in his right eye and left the gym afterwards complaining of double vision.
Hoya Coach John Thompson will find out today about his small forward's availability for Wednesday's contest against Stonehill when Martin's patch is removed and he is examined.
Should the New Orleans native not be ready Wednesday, Thompson probably will start freshman Eric Smith.
Should Martin miss Saturday's tilt against 18-6 Boston College, Thompson might start 6-foot-9 freshman Ed Spriggs, moving Craig Shelton to small forward.
Victories over Stonehill and Boston College would virtually clinch an Eastern College Athletic Conference Southern Region playoff bid for Georgetown. The Hoyas' main competition for the two-team Feb. 28th playoff are Virginia Commonwealth and Old Dominion. Those two collide Thursday in Richmond.
Ronnie Valentine, ODU's star junior forward, broke two bones in his ankle Wednesday against Virginia Tech and was reported by the school yesterday to be finished for theseason.Valentine was the nation's 17th leading scorer at the beginning of last week, averaging 24.1 points.
Another Georgetown freshman, Eric (Sleepy) Floyd woke up for 20 points and several key plays in Saturday's victory. John Duren scored 23 points and Shelton 20, plus a game-high 14 rebounds for the No. 18 Hoyas.
Graham, also mired in a shooting slump for three games before Clemson, attempted only four shots in Maryland's 77-69 victory. The sophomore guard, who had scored in double figures in every game this season, was scoreless and played only 17 minutes.
Graham allegedly was told by Terrapin Coach Lefty Driesell to stop shooting so much and look for teammates open inside. He finished with four assists.
"I'm just going to try and help win games," Graham said. "If we win, I don't care if I don't take one shot. I wasn't open so I didn't shoot. If I'd taken bad shots, I would have hurt the team more than not scoring my usual amount."
In other local action Saturday, George Washington won its third straight, a 99-77 victory over Richmond; Howard knocked off North Carolina AT, 66-65; American zapped William and Mary, 61-45; George Mason beat Mount St. Mary's, 97-89; and Penn State slowed things down for a 43-40 decision over Navy.
The Colonials, now 11-10, got a 32-point output from forward Mike Samson and double-figure scoring from five other players. Forward Tom Glenn and center Mike Zagardo each pulled down 13 rebounds.
Carlton Richardson's 22-foot jump shot with nine seconds remaining lifted Howard over the Aggies, ending A&-T's 19-game Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference win streak.
Among top 10 teams, third-ranked Duke and No. 5 Louisville both suffered upsets to set up a potential major shakeup in the pecking order at the top. (Top-ranked Notre Dame lost yesterday to UCLA).
Sam Clancy stole a Blue Devil pass and scored on a dunk with two seconds left to hand the hosts a 71-69 setback.
Marquette's Robert Byrd held Darrell Griffith to 12 points as the ninthranked Warriors trounced visiting Louisville, 71-55.
"I don't know if we'll win another game," said Marquette Coach Hank Raymonds. "We may have played our whole season tonight, but you saw one of the best games ever in this building by a Marquette team."
Second-ranked Indiana State won its 22nd game to remain the nation's only major unbeaten squad, but Coach Bill Hodges wasn't happy.
Hodges was provoked by the defensive tactics of Bradley on All-America Larry Bird. Bird was held to four points, making both his shots in the 91-72 victory. The Braves doubleteamed Bird, the nation's leading scorer (30 points per game).
"They gave away the game," Hodges said. "You can't beat anyone playing three-on-four. I was not happy with the situation at all, because the rule book states a man must be allowed room to maneuver. I guess the officials feel that doesn't apply to Bird."
Carl Nicks burned Bradley for 31 points and Steve Reed a career-high 19.