Something unexpected happened today. Georgetown's Patrick Ewing wore No. 50 instead of the standard No. 33.
"Somebody stole his regular uniform back at home," explained Hoyas forward Anthony Jones.
So much for the unexpected events of the day.
You want to talk about the expected: No. 18 Georgetown defeated Seton Hall, 71-60, in a Big East game before 7,818 at the Byrne Meadowlands Arena. In defeating Seton Hall for the 11th straight time, the Hoyas juiced up to a 16-point halftime lead, 39-23, then juiced up to 19-7, 9-4 in the Big East.
The Hoyas used a full-court press for much of the game against Seton Hall--now 5-20, 1-14 and slip sliding away. Consequently, Seton Hall committed 28 turnovers. Furthermore, the Hoyas made an arena-record 21 steals.
"We couldn't handle it at all," said first-year Coach P.J. Carlesimo of Seton Hall, speaking of the Hoya press. He might as well have been speaking about the game in general.
"P.J. is playing with a short deck. I went through that once, but his kids are still feisty," said Georgetown Coach John Thompson.
Georgetown wasn't exactly playing a royal-flush game today, mind you. True, Ewing did score 16 points and make seven steals, the latter tying an arena record.
"We were hurt by No. 33-slash-No. 50," said Carlesimo, speaking of Ewing.
And true, guard Horace Broadnax (12 points of silky smooth) and Jones (11 points of driving through the key) did rise from the bench, then rise above the rest.
"The adrenaline is flowing again," said Jones, five of seven from the field. "I don't remember the last time I felt it."
True, forward Bill Martin did score 13 points, get 10 rebounds in his latest rendition of a power forward. And true, guard Gene Smith (six steals) did get the ball inside to Ewing, who was playing against a front line of three 6-foot-6 players.
But the real truth about what kind of game this was, it is this: Georgetown forward David Wingate lost his grip on his recent hot streak, shooting one for 10, and the Hoyas committed 15 turnovers.
It was the kind of game in which Ewing took just 10 shots and didn't score in the second half until 2:09 remained. It was the kind of game in which the Hoyas scored on five of their first 21 possessions in the second half--and still led, 49-40, with 7:32 left. Georgetown shot 36 percent from the field in the second half.
"I don't know how to explain the beginning of the second half. I think they prepared for our pressure defense better," said Smith, who is to the Georgetown defense what caffeine is to coffee.
"We took a big lead at halftime and we probably started relaxing," said Wingate.
The Hoyas can relax no more. They play at Boston College Wednesday, then host Villanova and Syracuse after that.
"When we've got young kids like we have now, success and failure hurt us," said Thompson, speaking perhaps the thesis statement of this season. "When we get ahead sometimes, I get afraid. When we get behind sometimes, I get afraid . . . An older and more mature team can understand success."
For the first time in nearly a month, fans continually harassed Ewing. Underneath one basket a bed sheet was raised throughout the game. Written on it was, "Think Ewing! Think!" Also, these fans chanted throughout the game, "Ewing Can't Read."