Tenth-ranked Georgetown suffered its worst defeat of the last two seasons tonight, playing uncommonly poor defense and losing to sixth-ranked Alabama, 94-73, in the final of the Winston Tire Classic.
Crimson Tide forward Terry Williams made 14 of 15 shots, all outside of 12 feet, and finished with 28 points. Center Bobby Lee Hurt played as well, if not better, than Patrick Ewing. And point guard Ennis Whatley made some stunning passes for assists as Alabama (8-0) dominated from the first minute.
Georgetown (7-3) played for the second straight night without Coach John Thompson, who was back in Washington, where his mother Anna died Tuesday. Assistant Coach Craig Esherick substituted for Thompson. Bill Martin led the Hoyas with 24 points.
The biggest surprise was how Alabama took such a large lead early in the game. The Hoyas, one of the best running teams in the nation, were outrun by the Crimson Tide.
With Whatley passing beautifully to his teammates, the Tide often found itself with open 10- and 12-foot jumpers. Williams and Mike Davis opened with three straight jumpers for 6-0 lead.
Ewing made a free throw for Georgetown, but Whatley's steal produced another jumper by Williams. The Hoyas didn't make a basket until Fred Brown followed Ewing's missed shot with a layup after 4:49 had elapsed.
Cliff Windham, at 6-foot-5, made a risky jumper over the 7-foot Ewing for a 20-10 lead. A turnover by Georgetown allowed Whatley to throw a blind three-on-one pass that resulted in yet another jumper by Williams. Minutes later, Williams and Hurt scored consecutively on the break, making it 29-15.
The lead reached 33-17 after two free throws by Hurt and a fancy jumper by Whatley over Horace Broadnax. Broadnax and Michael Jackson, another freshman, had to guard Whatley most of the first half because Gene Smith, Georgetown's defensive specialist, was called for his third foul less than five minutes into the game.
The Hoyas finally put together a minirun, scoring seven straight points to pull within 35-24 behind baskets from Ewing, Brown and Martin.
But Hurt made a short jumper and freshman Buck Johnson scored on a flying tip-in. When Ewing was called for goaltending after a turnover by Georgetown, the Hoyas had fallen behind, 41-24, two minutes before halftime.
At that point, Alabama Coach Wimp Sanderson rested Whatley, Hurt and Windham -- all had two fouls -- for the second half.
Georgetown obviously needed something uplifting to counteract 33 percent shooting. If happened when Ewing rebounded a teammate's miss and dunked. He made the subsequent foul shot to make it 41-31 with 1:10 left.
The Hoyas decided to play for one shot at the end of the half, and two free throws by Brown with one second left made it 45-33.
Williams continued his impressive shooting in the second half. He made a 18-foot fadeaway jumper, a 19-foot line drive and a 20-footer to move Alabama into a 57-40 lead with 15:25 remaining. Hurt also had two dunks past Ewing in that span.
Georgetown players were not told of Mrs. Thompson's death until after the Wisconsin game. The office of the D.C. Medical Examiner said Mrs. Thompson, 76, died at 8:40 p.m. Tuesday of severe scalding burns suffered in a bathtub.
Services will be held Friday at 10 a.m. at St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church, with burial in Mount Olivet Cemetery.