For probably the first time, Kermit Washington was around but American University didn't need him.

The Eagles retired the jersey of the most recent collegiate player to average 20 points and 20 rebounds for his career, now an NBA all-star, then laid to rest their three-game losing streak by whipping Hofstra, 92-80, in an East Coast Conference game last night before 2,100 cold customers at Fort Myer.

AU evened its overall record at 10-10 and its conference mark at 3-3, while the Dutchmen dropped to 10-7 and 5-3 in their fourth straight loss to the Eagles. The AU Coach Gary Williams took a 1-0 lead over Hofstra Coach Joe Harrington, his former Maryland teammate and best man.

"It's tough to do that (beat Harrington)," Williams said later. "You don't get much satisfaction out of it. I didn't think about it during the game, but I thought about it before and after. I really didn't like doing it."

Neither did Harrington, who was Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell's assistant for 10 years. He spent most of the night pacing in front of his team's bench, his pleas going mostly unheeded by his players, but not by the referees, one of whom rewarded him with a technical foul in the second half.

None of Harrington's advice was successful in stopping Boo Bowers, the nation's seventh-leading scorer. The junior forward scored 30 points, the seventh time this season he has reached or exceeded that mark.

"I played decent tonight," he granted of his 10 for 19 from the field. 10 for 10 from the foul line, plus eight rebounds. "It was so cold that I couldn't get my legs going. I felt tight all night."

His teammates apparently didn't. AU warmed up the place with 62 percent shooting in the first half, surviving the last five minutes with Bowers on the bench with three fouls and taking a 74-37 lead to the locker room.

"I was worried about their inside game," Williams admitted. "I thought they would pound us to death on the boards." The Dutchmen didn't, finishing the first half with a 15-14 advantage but losing the overall battle, 35-29.

They did keep threatening to win the scoring war, falling behind by as much as 13 points early in the second half but creeping within five with nine minutes left.

"They were getting close, but I was never really worried," Williams said. "I thought we controlled things pretty well, and I thought we ran our offense very well. Even though we got all those points, it didn't seem like a good offensive night."

It was for Bob (Piper) Harvey, the Eagles' 6-foot-7 senior center. Returning from a two-game layoff because of injuries suffered against West Virginia, he scored a career-high 21 points, 13 in the second half, as he sank nine of 11 shots.

"He really did the job out there tonight," Williams commented. "He gave us another body inside, which we really needed against these guys, and he scored well enough to take some pressure off Boo."

Harvey saved his best moves for last. With Dave Taylor scoring many of his game-high 36 points and Hofstra hanging on at 74-62 with seven minutes remaining, he scored the Eagles' next eight points with a reverse layup, tip-in, jumper and drive. When he was finished, so were the Dutchmen. l

"I didn't feel any effects of the injuries," Harvey said. "There was no dizziness or soreness. I did feel the cold, though.I think that may have been why I got winded at the end."

It would not have been surprising to see his breath.