Eric Floyd and Ed Spriggs each scored six points in the last three minutes to lead Nike to a 104-100 victory over the Blazers in the first Jabbo Kenner League championship yesterday at McDonough Gymnasium.
Floyd and Spriggs, teammates at Georgetown the past four years, showed the advantage of having played together when the game was on the line. After the Blazers rallied from a 10-point deficit to tie at 92, it was the combination of Spriggs and Floyd that decided the outcome.
First Floyd, a first-round draft pick of the New Jersey Nets, made a long jumper; the Blazers tied it 10 seconds later on a layup by Gene Smith. Spriggs, picked in the eighth round by the Boston Celtics, followed with a hook shot in the lane, then passed to Floyd (36 points) for a breakaway to put Nike up, 96-92, at the 2:04 mark.
But Smith, the junior guard for the Hoyas, brought the Blazers back with two quick baskets to tie the game for the last time, at 96.
Spriggs tapped in a miss by teammate Ernest Datcher (21 points, 15 in the second half), then scored on a strong power move. Floyd made two free throws as Nike (10-3) gave the Blazers (12-1) their first defeat of the season.
Floyd was almost unstoppable, scoring from 25 feet and gliding in for easy layups. But it was the play of Smith, who scored 37 points, that drew the crowd's attention. Known primarily as a defensive specialist for Georgetown the past two seasons, Smith showed marked improvement on offense. His 25-second half points came on strong moves to the basket, offensive follows and an occasional 15-foot jump shot.
"Offense has not been one of my strong points in the past," said Smith, who was voted the league's MVP. "By playing in this league under college rules, it has given me an opportunity to work on a few of my weaknesses. I think it will really help me and the team this season."
In the preliminary game, Kevin Scarborough of Eastern made a 20-foot jump shot at the buzzer to give the D.C. High School All-Stars an 85-83 victory over the New York All-Stars. The New York team was led by all-America guard Dwayne (Pearl) Washington, who scored 40 points.
In the feature game in the Urban Coalition league, the Bullets, led by Frank Johnson's 41 points, beat the Chuck Taylor All-Stars, 123-112