Once again, life with Georgetown began with a sleepaway and finished with a keepaway.

Today, the No. 19 Hoyas revived from first-half blahs to defeat Providence, 78-70, in a Big East Conference game before a sellout of 12,247 at the Providence Civic Center.

Georgetown center Patrick Ewing scored 26 points, 18 in the second half, when the Hoyas reversed a 34-31 halftime deficit. Ewing scored 10 points in a 20-5 Georgetown streak that took six minutes, taking Georgetown from a 46-41 deficit to a 61-51 lead with 8:14 to play.

That was that as the Hoyas went into a spread offense in the last five minutes.

Providence guard Ron Jackson, who scored 23 points in the first half (nine of 13 from the field), was held to six in the second half by Georgetown reserve guard Gene Smith.

"He (Smith) just wouldn't let me have the ball," said Jackson, who finished with 29 points, but didn't score in the final 14 minutes. "In the first half, well, let's just say, I've never had a half like that before."

Georgetown escalated to 13-4, 4-1 in the Big East. Providence furrowed to 8-10, 0-5.

"(Providence) is not playing with the people maybe some of the other teams in the Big East have. But they give you a dogfight every time," said Georgetown Coach John Thompson, a former basketball star at Providence.

There was an unpleasant incident late in the first half. With Ewing at the free-throw line and Georgetown trailing, 34-30, a fan underneath the basket held up a sign, among all those waving arms.

Thompson saw the sign, was enraged, and pulled his team off the court. After Providence Coach Joe Mullaney walked over near the basket, talked to the fans and calming the situation, the Hoyas returned.

After the game, Thompson said little of the incident: "I saw a sign that didn't reflect a Dominican education . . . Certainly, it didn't reflect the college . . . I just felt it was offensive. I still have pride in this school. If it happened at another school, I'd tell you what the sign said. But now, I'd rather not."

A security guard patrolling the area, said, "The sign said 'Ewing can't read.' We got the sign, tore it up and that was the end of it."

After the game, Ewing said of the incident, "I don't want to speak anything about it. I only want to talk about the game."

After he fouled out of the game with 1:16 left, the game's outcome already decided, Ewing raised both arms, flashing two No. 1 signs. "What are we ranked now, No. 19? In our hearts, we know we're No. 1. That's why I did it," Ewing said.

Further ill will intruded upon the game with three seconds remaining, the Hoyas leading by 11. With Providence guard Harold Starks charging toward the basket on a breakaway layup, Georgetown guard Fred Brown fouled him, aggressively pushing Starks from behind.

Starks fell heavily, against the cushioned bracket underneath the basket. He raised his fists in anger. Both benches emptied. No punches were thrown. Brown was ejected because of the push.

"Freddie didn't mean anything. He's not that type of player," said Thompson.

Brown said, "I feel very bad about it. When I pushed him, I tried to grab him."

The Hoyas looked sloppy in the first half, trailing, 34-31, at halftime. Georgetown had difficulty getting the ball into Ewing. The 7-foot sophomore was covered tenaciously by Otis Thorpe, Providence's 6-9 center.

When Thorpe was charged with his fourth foul one minute into the second half, he left the game. He was replaced by Ray Knight, a weaker player who transferred from Georgetown two seasons ago.

Ewing went to work. Knight fouled out with 12:36 left, the score tied at 46. Thorpe reentered and, with four fouls, couldn't stop Ewing.

The Hoyas' Bill Martin had 16 points. Freshmen David Wingate and Michael Jackson each scored 10 points. Navy Beats Richmond Special to the Washington Post ANNAPOLIS, Jan. 22--Senior guard Jim Kuzma made two foul shots with nine seconds left to give Navy a 57-55 victory over Richmond today.

Just moments before, guard Tom Bethea of Richmond had stolen the ball and missed a layup. Kuzma was fouled getting the rebound and that set up the winning points for the Midshipmen, who have won four straight.

Vernon Butler, Navy's 6-foot-7 freshman from High Point High, had 16 points and 13 rebounds.

Navy is 9-4 and 1-0 in the ECAC South. Richmond is 8-8 and 2-1.