Georgetown Coach John Thompson told his team before last night's game that he didn't want to just play in the NCAA tournament, he wanted to win it. Therefore, beating Boston College wasn't as important as getting some strong inside play and feeling good about progressing.
The Hoyas accomplished all three goals at Capital Centre before 8,693. All five Georgetown starters reached double figures in scoring, including Reggie Williams, who had 22 points, as the 15th-ranked Hoyas beat Boston College, 90-76.
More important to Georgetown's success in the upcoming Big East and NCAA tournaments was freshman Johnathan Edwards coming off the bench to get a career-high 12 rebounds and block three shots in 20 minutes.
"I wanted to work my big people more than anything," Thompson said. "We have to have more impact inside, a lot more impact. We want to go into the Big East tournament which begins March 5 in New York playing well."
Georgetown (21-6, 10-5) certainly shot well in ending a three-game Big East losing streak. The Hoyas made 60 percent of their shots in the second half, 56.9 percent for the game.
And, wonder of wonders, the Hoyas shot 82.7 percent from the foul line, after losing Sunday to Syracuse because they couldn't make important foul shots. Georgetown made 14 of 15 from the line during a three-minute stretch late in the game when Boston College (13-13, 4-11) was trying to catch up.
Although Edwards' performance inside was the focus of most of the postgame rap, it was important not to overlook the contribution of senior guard Horace Broadnax, who made seven of 11 shots from the field and finished with 17 points.
"He likes BC, doesn't he?" Thompson said, remembering Broadnax's five-for-six performance in Boston Garden last month.
It was a jumper by Broadnax with about 18 minutes to play that gave Georgetown some breathing room, 42-38, after a layup by Ralph Dalton (six for seven from the field, seven rebounds) put the Hoyas ahead for good.
A technical foul called against BC Coach Gary Williams a few seconds later, in protest of a walking call against Dominic Pressley that nullified a dunk, allowed Georgetown to increase the lead.
Michael Jackson (14 points, six assists) made the technical foul shots for 44-38. And after Pressley missed a layup, David Wingate's foul shot made it 47-38 with 16 minutes to play.
It was a rough night all the way around for Pressley, the former Mackin High School guard, who averages 12 points per game for the Eagles. Pressley, with many of his relatives and friends in the stands, missed seven of eight shots and fouled out late in the game.
But forward Roger McCready, who scored a game-high 24 points, and center Troy Bowers, who had a career-high 22 and seven rebounds, kept Boston College close with their inside offense.
After Georgetown opened up a 58-47 lead, McCready got inside for six points to cut the Hoyas' lead to 58-53 with about nine minutes to play.
That's when Wingate countered with a 16-foot rainbow jumper off the left base line that made it 60-53.
And when Dalton tied up Bowers for a jump ball -- the alternate-possession arrow pointed in favor of Georgetown -- Dalton wound up hitting a short shot that extended the lead to 62-53.
Georgetown's 14 turnovers reflected the trouble the Hoyas had breaking the Eagles' press.
But Broadnax scored two free throws, a three-point play, then a driving layup that beat the press and put the Hoyas ahead by 73-59 with 3:51 left.
Thompson had been worried that Broadnax might try to "relive" his last game against Boston College and press while shooting.
But Broadnax was only worried about his contributions while the Hoyas had lost three straight.
"I've felt that I haven't played well lately," he said. "I haven't contributed as much as I could have. I came out early tonight looking for my shot because I knew they would try and double-up on Reggie.
"He kept swinging the ball to my side and the jumper was open all night. I probably could have taken several more."
Despite the constant double-teaming, Williams made nine of 14 shots, including several long jumpers that had to demoralize Boston College's defenders.
Broadnax said he felt certain the team has been progressing, even through the three-game conference losing streak. "It's a crazy feeling," he said, "but it seems like we didn't lose. I feel we're a better team now than before we lost those games." St. John's 86, Syracuse 79
Walter Berry scored 27 points and Willie Glass had 19 points and 12 rebounds as the No. 8 Redmen beat the No. 6 Orangemen in New York City to tie for the Big East Conference lead.
St. John's (26-4) and Syracuse (22-4) each are 13-2 in the conference with one game left. If both win or both lose their finales, St. John's would be the No. 1 seed in the Big East tournament. Since the teams split during the regular season, the Redmen would have the top spot because they beat third-place Georgetown twice and Syracuse split with the Hoyas.
The Redmen trailed, 35-33, at halftime as they were outrebounded, especially on the offensive boards. But St. John's bounced back in the second half with a 13-0 run for a 48-41 lead. Syracuse came back with a 12-3 run, with Dwayne (Pearl) Washington (35 points) driving for three straight baskets for a 53-51 advantage.
But the 6-foot-8 Berry tied it with two foul shots, and he and the 6-5 Glass then took charge as Syracuse continued to have foul trouble.
Wendell Alexis had 19 points and 12 rebounds for Syracuse