It's tough enough trying to beat Georgetown when you have talent. Any team forced to travel 3,000 miles with a 1-10 record -- including back-to-back 51- and 52-point losses to Stanford and Fullerton State, respectively -- to face the Hoyas should ask for one gift for Christmas: a new schedule-maker.
As it usually does to outmanned opponents, Georgetown gave Seattle University a punishing lesson in the art of basketball last night at Capital Centre, racing to a 28-point first-half lead en route to a 96-57 victory before 5,023.
Perhaps Seattle, an NAIA team, thought the Hoyas might have been flat following Saturday's 15-point victory over De Paul. Or perhaps the Chieftains were looking for a little Yuletide hospitality. Well, the Hoyas were neither flat nor hospitable.
Fifth-ranked Georgetown, 9-0 and winner of its last 38 games against non-Big East competition, shot 53 percent from the floor (41 for 77) and outrebounded Seattle, 62-21. David Wingate led a parade of scorers with 16 points. Reggie Williams had 14, Grady Mateen 13 and Horace Broadnax 10.
Kevin Bailey, scoreless in the first half, had a career-high 19 points after intermission for Seattle.
"They (the Hoyas) went to a zone in the second half and that helped us," Bailey said. "I watched them play on TV (against De Paul) Saturday and knew what to expect from them. And they played exactly like they played on TV."
In the first half, Georgetown's pressure defense helped produce 13 turnovers (the Chieftains average 21 a game), limited its perimeter-shooting opponents to eight field goals in 32 tries and held a 28-12 advantage on the backboards en route to a 45-17 lead at halftime. Williams made six of his first seven shots for 12 quick points, Wingate had 11 points and seven other Hoyas scored in the half.
"Regardless of who you're playing, you want the maximum effort," Hoyas Coach John Thompson said. "I don't look at this game any different than I would at a De Paul.
"Sometimes you might have a few more worries about a so-called soft team than you would about a ranked team. You have a tendency to relax and make mistakes. And if you do it against a (soft) team, you will do it against another team. I was pleased with the effort, but I'm sure when I see the films, I'll see some things we did wrong."
From a courtside view, it certainly seemed like a flawless performance to most. At one point, Seattle trailed only 9-6 and had one more field goal than turnovers. So much for prosperity. Georgetown went on one of its typical confidence-breaking scoring blitzes and this one was over.
While Seattle was failing to score on 16 consecutive possessions over a 6 1/2-minute span, the Hoyas were running off 16 straight points for a 25-6 lead with 10:30 to play in the half.
"I was a little disappointed we were so tentative in the first half," said first-year Seattle Coach Bob Johnson. "Our game plan was to stay as close as possible, let them shoot from the outside. They did."
Seattle ended the half by missing its last five field goal tries. Georgetown's Jaren Jackson scored off a follow shot and a 14-footer and Ronnie Highsmith tipped in a miss to give the Hoyas their commanding lead.
Thompson used mostly reserves in the second half, much to the delight of the Chieftains. Nevertheless, the talented Hoyas stretched their lead to 38 points on a Mateen basket with 14 minutes to play in the game.
"You don't worry about the intensity level because you are playing within a system," said Hoyas point guard Michael Jackson. "When you use a system, it doesn't matter who you play.