Two years ago Georgetown walloped Wagner College by 31 points. Since then the Seahawks have billed their team as the most improved in the nation.
Eric Floyd wasn't wearing a Georgetown uniform in that one-sided effort in '78 but he earned a page in the Wagner brochure last night. The 6-foot-3 sophomore guard poured in a career high 30 points to lead the streaking Hoyas to an 89-75 decision over outmanned Wagner at McDonough Arena.
In winning their sixth straight game and running their season mark to 17-5, the Hoyas shot 59 percent from the floor and enjoyed a 41-24 advantage on the backboards.
"This was a good game for us going into the Syracuse game (Wednesday night)," said Floyd, who also had four rebounds and three steals. "Wagner pushed the ball up the floor and we had to get back. The ball was just falling for me and I got into a pretty good rhythm."
Hoya Coach John Thompson stuck with his starters longer than usual last night because, as he termed it, "We're shooting for a postseason berth and this is no time to relax now.
"The kids who are working hard and doing what they are supposed to do are playing now."
Thompson got a fine effort out of his starting unit. In addition to Floyd's fine performance, Craig Shelton scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. John Duren, despite getting into early foul trouble, scored 13 points and handed out a season-high 13 assists.
Georgetown used an 8-2 blitz in the final minutes of the first half to take a 41-29 lead. Floyd pumped in six baskets and Duren added two more as the fast-breaking hosts ran out to a commanding 66-49 lead with 10 minutes to play.
Wagner was missing its leading scorer and rebounder, 6-foot-7 Howard Thompkins (19.1 points and 11.6 rebounds), but it is highly doubtful his presence would have changed the outcome.
"He (Thompkins) is back in New York on suspension for discipline reasons, but, in speculating, he would have definitely helped us on the boards," said Wagner Coach P. J. Carlesimo. "Georgetown just annihilated us on the boards and they shot the ball well. I'm not sure they played us as hard as they could. But our kids did pretty good. We've been in most of our games."
Wagner (12-9) got 20 points from long-range bomber Jamie Ciampaglio and 14 each from Daymon Yizar and Arvie Powell, but many of the baskets came when the game was out of reach.
"We let them get inside for a few baskets and offensive rebounds," said Floyd. "We can't let that happen too often. We have to cut that off."
Mike Frazier did a good job of stopping some of Wagner's inside play but got in foul trouble and played only 21 minutes. He had 13 points and seven rebounds. Ed Spriggs, who had missed the previous seven games with an injured ankle, played seven minutes, but didn't attempt a shot or get a rebound.
"I'm ready to play. The ankle feels fine now," said the 6-foot-9 Spriggs.
The Hoyas, fresh from an impressive 14-point win at Seton Hall, got off to a quick start. Guard Eric Floyd played as if possessed, hitting 16-foot shots, grabbing rebounds and scuffling for loose balls. Floyd threw in nine of Georgetown's first 15 points to stake the hosts to a 15-10 lead with 14 minutes to play in the first half. He had 11 points in the half.
The Seahawks, who had a 16-game victory streak last year and earned an NIT bid, had no luck connecting from outside the Hoya zone. They made only one shot from beyond 12-feet in the first 20 minutes.
Leapers Daymon Yizar and Clarence Bishop, both 6-4, used their quickness to sneak in behind the Hoyas for a few layups to keep their team from falling out of sight. Both drew three personal fouls battling for rebounds and spent the last five minutes of the half on the bench.
Without their two rebounders, Wagner had no inside game at all, and, with the tallest Hoya in the game 7-foot Frazier, clogging up things in the middle, Wagner totally forgot the layup route.
Frazier also scored eight points in addition to snatching four rebounds to help the Hoyas maintain their advantage. His layup following an alley-oop pass from John Duren gave the Hoyas a 27-19 lead with nine minutes to play.
Duren soon drew his third foul but the Georgetown running game didn't miss a gear.
Reserves Jeff Bullis and Eric Smith came in to contribute baskets for the fast-breaking Hoyas.
Wagner was beaten badly on the boards but refused to fold in the first half. Two straight buckets and a pair of free throws by Arvie Powell helped Wagner come to 33-27 five minutes before intermission.
The Hoyas ran off an 8-2 spurt. Shelton followed his own miss for a basket, Frazier hit a pair of free throws, Shelton hit a 15-footer and Bullis connected for a basket to give Georgetown 41-29 lead at halftime.