If ever Georgetown is going to worry, it would probably be when Patrick Ewing and Reggie Williams each pick up three fouls midway through the first half.
That happened here today in Madison Square Garden, but the Hoyas didn't appear to fret. Backup center Ralph Dalton and freshman Perry McDonald came in to increase the lead and send the top-ranked Hoyas off to a 93-62 victory over Connecticut in a quarterfinal Big East tournament game.
Ewing came back to score 20 points and get 11 rebounds in only 20 minutes, and shared scoring honors with Bill Martin, who had 20 points and nine rebounds.
The victory was the 10th straight for Georgetown (28-2) and sends the Hoyas into Friday's 7 p.m. game against Syracuse (21-7), which defeated Boston College, 70-69.
Tim Coles led the Huskies (13-15) with 22 points, but no teammate reached double figures. Earl Kelley, who averaged more than 19 points in the regular season, made only three of 13 shots and finished with eight points.
The Huskies made 31 percent of their shots, committed 21 turnovers, and were brutally overwhelmed. Even late in the game, with mostly Georgetown reserves on the court, the Hoyas scored 16 straight points and 22 of 24. And by that time, as Coles would later say, "We just wanted to get the game over with."
One might have thought Connecticut would have a better chance with Ewing and Williams on the bench. Thompson must have thought the same thing; when Williams, perhaps Georgetown's best open-court player, was called for his third foul less than three minutes into the game, Thompson screamed at one official, "Three fouls on one of my best players!"
Actually, Thompson's language was a little more colorful than that, and he was assessed his second technical in three games. "I always get worried with players sitting on the bench," he said.
But with Williams on the bench, McDonald, a 6-foot-4 swing man, stole the ball and fed David Wingate for a layup that put Georgetown ahead by 10-4. A little later, McDonald's jumper made it 12-8. When Connecticut pulled within a basket, McDonald made another jumper for a 14-10 margin.
Once again, the Huskies closed to two, 16-14, on a hook by Coles. But McDonald made another short jumper for 18-14.
Not long thereafter, with 9:27 still left before halftime, Ewing committed his third foul. Broxton made the two free throws to close the lead to 27-22 and the Huskies could now attack a Georgetown team that not only was without Ewing and Williams, but one that would have to back off a little on defense because of the way the officials were calling the game.
"We had to go to a zone real early," Thompson said. "A little of that (foul trouble) was our fault, too. But it made us apprehensive about applying pressure."
All that having been said, Dalton came in to post up strongly underneath and get fouled. He made the first free throw, and when he missed the second McDonald kept the ball alive, resulting in Martin's jumper and a 30-22 lead.
When Connecticut couldn't get the ball inbounds in the allotted five seconds, Wingate got the ball to Dalton for a basket that boosted the Hoyas to 34-24. Dalton then deflected Broxton's pass that ended in Wingate's dunk for a 38-24 lead.
GU was plus nine without Ewing and Martin, led by 46-26 at halftime, and steadily increased the lead, eventually tying the tournament record for margin of victory.
Thompson said the play of Dalton, a 6-foot-11 senior who averages only 10 minutes per game, was "especially significant. He makes a tremendous sacrifice, not concerning himself with time and stats. He did an excellent job on the boards and the things he had to do defensively."
The starters, including Ewing and Williams, came back at the start of the second half and finished off the Huskies.