The blue-collar city best known for its tasty crab cakes, Orioles and departed Colts welcomed home two of its favorite sons tonight.
City officials, former teachers, friends, even Dancing Harry were among a festive crowd of 6,023 at the Civic Center to see David Wingate and Reggie Williams.
This was their night, and the two talented forwards helped the 13th-ranked Hoyas break clear in the first half to set up an easy 81-53 victory over outmanned Morgan State.
The two former Dunbar High School all-Americas, now doing their thing at Georgetown, received a standing ovation as City Councilman Nathaniel McFadden read a proclamation from Mayor William Donald Schaefer.
"You would have thought we were at home in Washington ," said Wingate, referring to the crowd that cheered wildly for the Hoyas all night. "I just want to thank everyone who put this together for Reggie and me. It was wonderful to see people I grew up with and to have such an honor."
Morgan State's Bears (5-17) are based only a few miles from the Civic Center, but you would have thought Georgetown (20-5) was the home team. Each time, Wingate (16 points on eight-of-11 shooting) or Williams (11 points) touched the ball, the crowd would stir. Fans even needled Wingate good-naturedly when the 6-foot-5 senior put up a two-foot finger roll air ball.
"I don't know what happened on that one," Wingate said with a laugh. "With all your relatives and friends watching you, you want to go out and do something special. Give them something to go home and talk about."
It took a couple of minutes and missed shots for Wingate and Williams to get in the flow of the game. Meanwhile Morgan was doing its best to gather a bit of support for its cause. Point guard Thomas Foster threw in four jump shots and scored 13 points, most of them coming early in the first half when the Bears were still in the game.
Morgan State trailed by only 20-16 after 12-plus minutes. Wingate and Williams then worked a bit of magic and suddenly the four-point lead reached 10, 15 and finally 21 at the half, 41-20.
"I thought our kids played hard and executed our game plan when we could," Morgan State Coach Nat Frazier said.
"It was pretty obvious this was an emotional time for the two kids. They were coming home and wanted to play well. I was proud of what our kids did. We just couldn't play with them on the boards . . . . We did break their press and a lot of teams hven't done that yet."
In a 14-0 Georgetown run, Williams made two free throws, Charles Smith drove in for a basket, Michael Jackson had a pair of free throws and Williams got inside for a layup.
Wingate then got into the act. Williams stole an errant pass, one of five Bears turnovers during the run, and fed Wingate, who threw down a strong dunk. Wingate scored the next basket after another pefect pass, this one from Smith, and the Hoyas were in control, 34-16.
"It was good to come home and play before the old fans," said Williams, who had seven rebounds and four steals. "I try to keep in touch with Coach [Bob] Wade and the former Dunbar players. I have had a good three years at Georgetown thus far. Things have fallen in place for me."
Nothing would fall for the Bears. Morgan State made only eight of 25 field goal tries and four of 10 from the foul line in the first half.
With all 12 Hoyas making field goals in the game, the lead grew to 27 points with just over 11 minutes remaining. Jaren Jackson, who had 10 points, tipped in a basket to give Georgetown a 70-40 lead with 5:06 to play.
"I was pleased as I could be with the effort," said Coach John Thompson, who recorded his ninth consecutive 20-victory season. Catholic 79, Frostburg St. 78 Guard Charlie Thompson scored 10 straight points late in the second half and Rob McCarry had 24 in all to help the Cardinals (17-8) rally to victory at DuFour Center. Dwayne Jenkins of Frostburg State (17-7) had a game-high 31.
Benches emptied midway through the first half as the Bobcats' Eddie Rutledge and Catholic's Tim O'Brien scrapped. Mont-Takoma 104, Harford 103
Dwayne Milam made two free throws with four seconds left in overtime to give Montgomery-Takoma Park (15-5) the home victory. Teammate Claude Hodge had tied the game on a jumper with :02 left in regulation. Milam and Monroe Steele led the winners with 24 points each. Harford (13-13) got 38 from Tony Smith. Gallaudet 101, Columbia Union 75
Brian Ramsey scored 27 points and David Hamilton 21, leading the Bison (14-11) over the visitors (7-9).