Nearly three hours later, after 58 fouls, a bench-clearing fight that produced two ejections and very little basketball other than free throw shooting, 13th-ranked Georgetown had a 70-66 victory over Connecticut at Capital Centre.

And Georgetown Coach John Thompson had seen enough scuffling.

"I'm a basketball coach, not a boxing instructor," Thompson said. "So much attention has been given to us being aggressive and how we play that everybody will be ready at the drop of a hat to get irritable.

"Teams don't want to be intimidated, and we're not going to be pushed off the court. I'm getting fed up with the whole thing. I'm not interested in who's to blame. I'm interested in it stopping. It's got to get under control."

Thompson noted that a lot of the "fights" Georgetown has been involved in have been "fussing matches" more than anything. But fists were flying four minutes into the second half last night after Reggie Williams grabbed an offensive rebound and got into a tussle with Gerry Besselink, which turned into Dalton versus Besselink.

"Little things like that pop up in tough conference games," Dalton said later, after shaking hands with Besselink at the end of the game.

"Williams hit me in the mouth with his hand, and the next thing I know, Dalton's grabbing me. I throw Dalton on the ground, then they're all jumping on me. . . . I'm really mad because they got away with a lot," said Besselink. "It's the first time I've ever been ejected."

Thompson was obviously irritated after last night's game.

Some of that, however, may have been because his team again missed free throws down the stretch that allowed Connecticut (8-3) to come back from a 12-point deficit, even though three starters had fouled out after Besselink's ejection.

"That fact that we were still in the hunt was amazing," Connecticut Coach Dom Perno said.

The Hoyas' free-throw problems were primarily the reason why the Hoyas (11-2) lost to Texas-El Paso and Pittsburgh.

"My good shooters are missing free throws," Thompson said. Michael Jackson, who had 16 points and six assists, in addition to playing great defense against Connecticut's Earl Kelley, made all six of his shots from the line.

But Williams, who had 16 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, made only six of 11. And David Wingate (11 points) made just three of six.

The Hoyas started well enough; they hit 16 of their first 18 foul shots, but made only 14 of the final 26.

The Huskies weren't any better. And free throw shooting became the focal point of the game after the fight. "They were calling everything in sight," Perno said.

It was hard to remember a sequence in which three straight baskets were scored without a free throw taken.

The Hoyas were building some momentum (40-33 lead early in the second half) when Williams hit a bank shot. But Thompson wandered out of the coach's box and was hit with a technical. "When I came out of the box, that killed the lead," he said later.

Perno was nearly down to his final player in the last seven minutes. Georgetown built an 11-point halftime lead as Kelley (15 points but only three field goals) and Phil Gamble -- the Huskies' starting back court -- sat on the bench the final 6:14 with three fouls each.

Forward Tim Coles, who had 21 points and 13 rebounds in a strong inside performance, fouled out with seven minutes left after the other starting forward, Eddie Williams, had fouled out 40 seconds earlier.

Kelley, the league's third-leading scorer and third-leading assist man, departed with his fifth foul in the final minute, leaving Gamble (12 points) as the only starter on the floor.

But Gamble's jumper cut Connecticut's deficit to 65-59. And a jumper by Cliff Robinson made it 66-61 after Johnathan Edwards of Georgetown had missed a free throw.

Robinson made one of two free throws with 57 seconds left for 68-64. And the Huskies had to feel pretty good when Horace Broadnax (11 points, four assists) missed a one-and-one set with 36 seconds left.

But John Shea, who hadn't been in the game long enough to work up a sweat, took an off-balance shot that flew over the rim and enabled Georgetown to maintain its four-point margin.