Mike Hancock, a senior forward often overlooked when people talk about the Hoyas' abundance of talented players, received the ultimate compliment last night after making nine of 10 shots in Georgetown's 67-51 Big East victory over Boston College at Capital Centre.
"Mike is the best pure shooter we have on this team," said Eric Floyd, an all-America guard considered one of the best pure shooters in the nation. "I hope all of our opponents continue to overlook him. It can only help the team." Each scored 20 points.
When Floyd had trouble shooting in the second half and center Patrick Ewing failed to get the ball inside, Hancock took over. He made his last seven shots as 13th-ranked Georgetown (13-2, 2-0 in the Big East) pulled away after a close first half for its 12th straight victory.
Floyd missed all five of his shots in the second half, but in the first 20 minutes made six of nine and scored 15 points. Ewing scored only four points--he shot only twice all night--but, nevertheless, had an impact.
Ewing's three straight blocked shots during one Eagle possession sparked Georgetown's 10-3 surge to start the second half.
But it took Hancock, Floyd, Ewing and all the other Hoyas to offset a strong performance by BC's 5-11 guard John Bagley, who led all scorers with 26 points. Bagley got little offensive help from his teammates; none made more than two field goals.
Bagley, who went straight at the 7-foot Ewing twice on successful layups, scored 10 straight points late in the first half and tied the game at 26 three minutes before halftime.
"For a little man, Bagley scores more baskets inside the lane than anybody in the country," Coach John Thompson of Georgetown said. "He can sliver out of any defense and throw up some kind of shot. When Bagley goes solo, he can beat you single-handedly. He's a home run hitter when they're in trouble."
Bagley's savvy and a variety of pressuring defenses kept Boston College within 32-29 at intermission. Although Floyd had 15 points at halftime, Georgetown shot only 44 percent and never got into a rhythm.
"They never let you in a flow," Thompson said of the BC defense. "I roll and toss every time before I play them. They do a lot of different things, and mix them all. I don't think anybody's offense can look very fluid against them."
With that in mind, Georgetown once again turned to its defense to put the game away. The Hoyas forced two quick turnovers, and Ewing's blocked shots led to the first six points of the first half.
The Hoyas held the Eagles scoreless for the first five minutes of the second half and took a 42-32 lead on Anthony Jones' foul shots.
BC (5-5, 0-3) soon fell behind by 13 points, but pulled within 47-40 when Bagley made two straight baskets. Hancock's two base line jumpers and Eric Smith's two foul shots eased the Hoya lead to 53-40.
"Mike was shooting well, but I was mad at him most of the night," Thompson said. "He wasn't rebounding the way I wanted him to. I had some words for him and Eric (Floyd) at the end. But they're my seniors. I wanted them out there at the end."
BC, the defending Big East champion, lost its third straight conference game. But the Eagles' record is deceptive. BC has lost to Villanova twice and to Virginia Tech once. It has not played a Big East game at home.
"We did our best to disrupt (Georgetown) with pressure defense," Coach Tom Davis of BC said, "but the coaches had time during the offseason to analyze how we did it last year. Pressure defense was one of them.
"But Georgetown is a complete team. I don't know how they cannot be considered among the top four or five teams in the country."