By the time the overwhelmed Southern University players had finished oohing and aahing at the size, speed and depth of 20th-ranked Georgetown last night, the Hoyas had control of a colossal mismatch, and went on to an 84-48 victory in McDonough Arena.
"Every time I looked up, Patrick Ewing was standing in my face," said Jaguar forward Donevin Hoskins. "Gosh, he's big. They just have a lot of talent; more than we could ever hope to keep up with."
The jittery Jaguars committed nine turnovers in their first 20 possessions, and fell behind, 8-0. Georgetown (20-5), led by all-America Eric Floyd's 20 points (nine-for-12 shooting) and seven assists, steadily increased the margin.
While Floyd rested on the bench most of the second half, Hoya freshman swing man Anthony Jones dominated play, scoring 13 points and getting a team-high 11 rebounds. Freshman Bill Martin came off the bench to score 12 points. Southern (4-14) was led by guard Alvin Jackson, 14 points.
The victory enabled Georgetown to have its fifth straight 20-victory season.
"It doesn't mean much to win 20 games anymore," Coach John Thompson said. "We assume we're going to do that now. I used to worry about that when I was younger, but I'm more concerned at this time with getting the team ready for the end of the Big East schedule and the tournaments."
Thompson said he didn't consider Southern an easy team to defeat. "We probably beat them like we were supposed to," he said. "But a lot of people thought we should have beaten Providence the same way, and we didn't."
Jones agreed. "We seemed to misjudge Providence," he said. "And we didn't want to do that again. We wanted to keep morale high going into the Boston College game (Wednesday)."
There was never any indication that this would be a repeat of the Providence embarrassment. After Southern pulled to within 12-7, Georgetown scored eight of the next 10 points to take 20-9 lead. At that point, Floyd, who became the third-leading assist man in Georgetown history, had either scored or assisted on all but two points.
Georgetown ran its margin to 32-11 with four minutes to play in the first half, and led, 38-15, at halftime.
"We were overwhelmed by an extremely talented team," said Southern Coach Carl Stewart, whose team lost its last game to Mississippi Valley in six overtimes.
"If you want to break it (the difference between the two teams), you can get into depth, speed--they flashed a lot of that tonight--rebounding or depth," Stewart continued. "Psychologically, you'd have to be awe-stricken. And it's hard to do the proper things on the court when you're in awe of the opposition."
As Thompson pointed out, when this game was scheduled, Southern was a team of distinction. Howard and Southern were the first two predominantly black schools to earn an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament.
But the loss of two seniors, the academic ineligibility of leading rebounder Royce Craft at the end of the first semester, and early-season injuries to Jackson, the team's top guard, made Southern a shadow of the 17-11 team it was last season.
While Stewart and his team were left to ponder the rest of a disappointing season, Thompson and the Hoyas were looking forward to March and the NCAA playoffs.
"This team is in front of any team I've ever had," Thompson said. "If we come out of the Boston College and Connecticut games looking good, I'm gonna feel kind of special."