Ralph Sampson led Virginia to victory at the summit last night despite a sore left knee that needed draining and debilitation from an attack of flu.
Sampson, who wore a wrap on the knee in the first half, then discarded it, said, "It happened Thursday in practice. I fell and hit my knee on the floor. Friday it collected fluid and they had to let it out.
"I don't think I played well, but I was down with something I got before the game. I have to IV myself so I won't be drained."
Sampson, who had 23 points and 16 rebounds, said frustration resulting from his weakened physical condition and a misinterpretation of an official's call led to his second-half confrontation with those on Georgetown's bench.
Sampson went up for three consecutive shots, two of which were blocked by Pat Ewing. Ewing fouled Sampson on the third try, but the Cavaliers were led to believe the call was goaltending against Ewing and they ran to the opposite end of the court awaiting a throw-in by the Hoyas. Sampson then motioned with his finger for the Hoya substitutes who were shouting at him to come out on the floor.
"Personally, I thought it was goaltending," Sampson said. "I was getting weaker and weaker and I had tried to dunk but I didn't have the strength left. So I just tried to put it in the basket. Then their bench came out on the floor and was saying a lot of things."
Sampson repeated his pregame statement that this was just another game.
"To us when we came in, it was just another game," he said. "We let all the emotions out after the game, after we had it wrapped up. We had to let it out some time.
"It was a good game and I'm glad we won. I hope we have it again in the (NCAA tournament's) final four. I know they would like a rematch and I wouldn't mind it at all."
Of Ewing, whom he outplayed most of the game, Sampson said, "Pat is an excellent player. There aren't enough words to describe the guy. He's great. He was tough on defense and when he tried to front me, I tried to fight him and get inside.
"Both teams played well. We played well in spurts and they put on tremendous pressure in the backcourt. Our guards did a great job getting the ball up against them and they made some big foul shots, too. Everybody out there did a tremendous job."
Sampson held Ewing to 16 points and eight rebounds, but Ewing is unlikely to forget the dunk he made over Sampson to trim Virginia's lead to 57-53.
"It was a great dunk," Sampson said. "He had position inside and I had to try to block it or get out of the way. I sort of figured it would be smarter to get out of the way."
Coach Terry Holland paid tribute to Sampson's courage for remaining in the game despite his physical problems. Sampson played 37 minutes and was credited with seven blocked shots in addition to his game-high point and rebound totals.
"I thought Ralph had a really good night, but as the game went on he got weaker," Holland said. "By the end he had difficulty maintaining his position offensively or defensively."
Sampson submitted to interviews immediately afterward, rather than following Georgetown Coach John Thompson and Ewing, as had been prescribed in the postgame schedule. Then he was rushed back to the team's hotel for treatment.
"He's to the point where he's not sweating," Holland said.
Undoubtedly, he was the only one on the floor or in the stands who wasn't.