Georgetown's fans showed where their priorities lay last night when the Hoyas reached the 99-point mark against Alabama State with 1:40 to play. Instead of pleading for 100, they chanted, "We want Ralph."
The loudest cheer from the Capital Centre crowd of 9,666 followed the announcement that Duke was leading Virginia and Ralph Sampson by eight points in the first half.
If most of the folks seemed more concerned about Saturday's big game with Virginia, at least one Georgetown player had his mind firmly on the job at hand. He was sophomore forward Bill Martin, who sank 13 of 17 floor shots in a 30-point performance that highlighted the Hoyas' 99-76 victory.
"It's important that we win every game," said Martin, who departed with six minutes remaining. "If we'd lost this game, it would count as much as a loss to Virginia."
Martin became only the second Hoya in three years to reach the 30-point mark. Center Pat Ewing was the other, scoring 30 Saturday at Western Kentucky. Ewing, after a first half that included five turnovers and two goaltending calls, finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Ewing was not taken out until four minutes remained, after he dived in pursuit of a loose ball.
Alabama State had a 30-point scorer, too. Lewis Jackson, a 6-6 forward, made 14 of 19 floor shots and led the Hornets with eight rebounds.
"It was just like another game," Jackson said. "We played well in the first half, but we kind of let it get away from us in the second half."
There was a hint of a faux pas shortly after the intermission when a Georgetown timeout inspired by two quick baskets by Jackson was utilized by the public-address announcer to plug a Friday pep rally
Alabama State trimmed its nine-point halftime deficit to three, at 49-46, but the Hoyas' full-court pressure made itself felt, as steals by Michael Jackson and David Wingate helped Georgetown build its margin to 61-48. The Hornets could not climb within 10 thereafter.
"We came to play as hard as we could against what I consider the best team in the country," said Alabama State's James Oliver, who has the best winning percentage among active major-college coaches.
Georgetown guard Fred Brown, trying to come back from tendinitis in his right knee, played two minutes in obvious pain. Freshman forward David Dunn, making his first appearance after a preseason stress fracture, was more effective in a seven-minute effort.
"I don't think I'm ready to play," Brown said.