By Georgetown standards, the Hoyas played about a dozen minutes of excellent basketball today at the Meadowlands Arena. But it was those minutes that mattered.
The 15th-ranked Hoyas were in complete control for the first five minutes and -- more importantly -- the last seven minutes, when they came from five points down to score 18 of the game's final 21 points and defeat Seton Hall, 82-72.
Georgetown (13-3, 4-2 in the Big East) dropped Seton Hall to 9-9 overall and 0-5 in the conference. The Pirates have not beaten the Hoyas since the 1976-77 season.
"For a good part of today, I thought today was the day," Seton Hall Coach P.J. Carlesimo said. "People talk about confidence and poise, but confidence and poise comes from repeated success. These guys (the Hoyas) are building on past success. We don't have the foundation yet."
David Wingate and Reggie Williams led the Hoyas in scoring and rebounding. Wingate finished with 22 points and nine rebounds. Williams had 21 points and 10 rebounds. Georgetown had four players score in double figures, as did Seton Hall.
The Pirates were led by freshman John Morton and senior Andre McCloud, from H.D. Woodson High School in the District, each with 16.
In the early going, the Hoyas looked as sharp and intense as they did in beating fourth-ranked Syracuse on Wednesday at Capital Centre.
On the Hoyas' first possession, Williams went inside to center Ralph Dalton for a 2-0 lead seven seconds into the game. Morton tied it with a jumper 32 seconds later.
Georgetown then ran off 12 straight points, beginning with a free throw by Dalton and ending with a jumper by Horace Broadnax to lead by 14-2 with 16:11 to go in the half.
Georgetown Coach John Thompson's switching of defenses and a trapping, full-court zone confused and frustrated the Pirates, who started one senior, one sophomore and three freshmen.
Offensively for the Hoyas, it seemed to be a continuation of the victory over Syracuse, which was accomplished in large part by the Hoyas going inside to their big men.
But after a free throw with 54 seconds gone, Dalton went more than 34 minutes without scoring, although 18 minutes of that time was spent on the bench because of foul trouble. But Dalton's teammates also seemed to have down-shifted.
"I thought one thing particularly about the game," Thompson said. "We got up too quickly. We controlled things and then relaxed. Everything changed then."
Said Carlesimo: "I felt we played tentative in the first five minutes . . . somewhat in awe of Georgetown."
But the Pirates managed to pick their jaws up off the floor and steadily worked their way back. Seton Hall got within one, 22-21, with 7:57 to go in the half.
The Hoyas led by eight, 36-28, with 3:33 to go, but the Pirates outscored them by 8-2 in the last 2 1/2 minutes, leaving the Hoyas with a 38-36 halftime lead.
"It's a matter of concentration," Wingate said. "When you go up 14-2 on somebody, there's a tendency to relax, and that let them back in it and made it a hard ball game."
Georgetown led by 48-40 with 17:08 left in the game, but Dalton got his fourth foul 40 seconds later.
After a Georgetown turnover, McCloud made two free throws to cut the Georgetown lead to 56-54. Morton tied it at 56 with a 10-footer in the lane, and Martin Salley gave Seton Hall its first lead on a shot from underneath.
After Williams tied it at 58 with a layup, Seton Hall took the lead again and held it for the next 4:44. The Pirates twice led by five points, the last time at 69-64 with 7:36 to go.
But then the Pirate ship sprung a serious leak: over the next 6 1/2 minutes, Seton Hall went scoreless.
Just as they had in the early going, Dalton and senior point guard Michael Jackson assumed more prominent roles.
Wingate, on a feed from Jackson (seven assists), made it 69-66. Dalton stuffed Khyiem Long, with Georgetown getting possession, and Broadnax scored after a timeout to make it 69-68.
Jackson then drilled a shot from the top of the key to give Georgetown the lead for good at 70-69 with 5:19 to go.
Seton Hall started coming apart at the seams, and the Hoyas converted the turnovers and missed shots into points.
Dalton followed with a dunk. Perry McDonald got two of his 10 points and the Hoyas were on their way. With 13 seconds to go, Williams made two free throws to give Georgetown its second 12-point lead of the game.
"We started playing with a little more intensity," Dalton said. "We started doing the things we wanted to do, let our defense generate some of our offense and we got out on the break. In the final part of the game, that was the key." Catholic 72, Western Maryland 71
In Westminster, Md., John Winkler scored 26 points and pulled down 10 rebounds -- both game highs -- as the Cardinals won their seventh straight. Charlie Thompson added 15 points, 10 in the second half, for Catholic.
The Cardinals (8-6) went ahead to stay with seven minutes left in the game when Winkler hit a jumper to make it 66-65.