Georgetown, after a lackluster first 10 minutes, bullied its way to a 98-47 win over outmanned Bowie State in the Hoyas' season opener last night at McDonough Arena.

Georgetown was without forward Craig Shelton, who has had minor oral surgery.

"Georgetown is better than it was last year," said Bowie State Coach Taft Hickman, whose team lost to the Hoyas, 79-54, last season. "With Shelton out, they still looked a lot stronger. Their zone did it. We're so small we just can't see over them."

The Hoyas began pulling away late in the first half, using a stifling 1-3-1 zone. Bowie State missed 10 straight shots and went 7 1/2 minutes without scoring while Georgetown expanded a 17-14 lead to 32-14 as Eric (Sleepy) Floyd and Al Dutch rediscovered the Hoya fast break.

John Duren, who seems to crave leadership, overcame a bad shooting night with vengeful defense and aggfressive playmaking. And Eric Smith, a 6-foot-5 sophomore with superb instincts, made up for Shelton's absence with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

"Craig is very valuable, but we didn't miss him." Duren said. "That zone really bothered them. I just played my role -- to direct things. I direct things out there like the coach tells me."

John Thompson, who has not lost an opener since he began coaching the Hoyas in 1972, saw some other positive things: The Hoyas played intensely all night and forward Dutch, after a year's absence, flashed his old skills with five-of-nine shooting.

Bowie State's potent Chuck Jackson entered the contest with a 32.2 point average but left with a bruised ego. Jackson, covered by Smith early, missed his first five shots, sat out the last 10 minutes of the opening half and finished with 10 points.

After the Hoyas abused Bowie State (2-3) for 36 minutes Thompson inserted crowd favorite John Irwin, a seldom-used senior guard. The 3,901 fans then turned from ecstasy to near mania when Irwin scored his first varisity points on a layup with 3:31 to go.

Thompson did not gloat in victory, knowing the Hoyas will play Maryland Wednesday at the Armory-Starplex. Shelton should be ready to play.