Ed Spriggs, Georgetown University's starting basketball center, suffered a severly sprained ankle in a 76-65 loss at Oral Roberts Saturday night and is "very doubtful" for Wednesday's home game against surprising St. Peter's.

"The X-rays were negative, but it is big (swollen) and still bothering him." Coach John Thompson said last night. "He'll see Dr. (Carl) MacCartee Monday. He's very doubtful Wednesday and I'm hopeful he'll be able to play by Saturday."

That is the day the 10-4 Hoyas face St. John's at McDonough Gym in a regionally televised contest between two of the top three contenders for the Big East Conference championships. St. John's (11-1) is ranked 14th nationally.

St. Peter's (10-3) leads Division I clubs in team defense, mainly because of its deliberate offense. The Peacocks' 66-44 victory over Fairfield equaled last season's total number of victories.

The circumstances surrounding Spriggs' injury -- Thompson thought that Spriggs had been fouled -- resulted in two technical fouls, calling for four free throws, being imposed on the coach. Oral Roberts converted three of the four free throws and then scored to make it a five-point possession and take a 55-50 lead.

Georgetown's problems did not end with the completion of the game. The team bus broke down yesterday in Rock Creek Park while bringing the players home from the airport.

"The driver said he'd go and get another bus, but he never came back," said Thompson. "Finally Bill Stein "a Georgetown assistant coach) hitchhiked to school and got us a van. And then the managers had to come back for the equipment."

Thompson recalled that on the road trip he visited the Oral Roberts' prayer tower built by and named for the evangelist.

"The tape recording said, 'Something good is going to happen to you,'" Thompson said. "I'm still waiting."