St. Peter's came into McDonough Gym with a defensive reputation, but the Georgetown Hoyas were too quick and too good to be slowed down last night.
John Duren directed a patient Hoya offense and a devastating full-court press that had the smaller and slower Peacocks scrambling from the beginning, and the Hoyas had little trouble in winning, 64-49.
The victory improved the Hoyas record to 11-4 and set the stage for Saturday's showdown against eight-ranked St. John's (13-1).
Most encouraging to Coach John Thompson last night was the way Georgetown adjusted its game to the loss of starting center Ed Spriggs.
Spriggs sprained his ankle in Saturday's loss to Oral Roberts and didn't play last night. He also is expected to miss the St. John's game.
Sophomore Mike Hancock started at center last night and the Hoyas capitalized on his quickness with their press.
Hancock finished with six points and four rebounds.
Craig Shelton led the Hoyas with 16 points and Duren pumped in 15, 11 of them in the first half.
The Peacocks packed their defense inside, so the Hoyas were content to take the open 18-foot jumpers.
They weren't falling very regularly in the first half as Georgetown shot only 37 percent. But the full court pressure got to St.Peter's in the second half and the Hoyas were able to run.
That resulted in 67 percent shooting after intermission and the Hoyas coasted in.
"I went with Hancock tonight because we can apply more pressure with him in the game," Thompson said. "We might have to start (Mike) Frazier against St.John's because they have those big guys in the middle." The 7-foot Frazier had four points and four rebounds last night.
Georgetown led, 29-23, at halftime and that lead was cut to 29-25 when St. Peter's Jim Brandon opened the second half with a tap in.
The Hoyas then produced 13 unanswered points while St. Peter's fell apart.
Faced with a 42-25 deficit, with 15 minutes to play, the Peacocks' deliberate, slowdown offense was ineffective.
Shelton started the 13-0 run with a tap in. Eric (Sleepy) Floyd scored the next eight straight points.
After Brandon's basket opened the half, the Peacocks committed six turnovers on their next eight possessions, most of them a result of the Georgetown press.
"One of the things we wanted to do was force the tempo" Thompson added. "We wanted to come out the second half mor aggressive than we had been. You're not going to beat a team like St. Peter's with a half-court game. You have to get some baskets off steals and the transition game.
"We pressed them to keep them from being as patient as they might have wanted to be. If you let them, they'll pass the ball around forever before taking a shot."
The Peacocks went into the game as the nation's leading defensive team, yielding only 47.9 points a game.
The 64 points the Hoyas scored is the most St.Peter's, now 11-4, has yielded since it gave up 69 points to Jersey City State in overtime in its season opener.