Georgetown's defense and rebounding made up for a slew of missed free throws yesterday, and the 18th-ranked Hoyas cruised to a foul-filled 82-63 victory over Long Beach State before 6,717 at Capital Centre.

The Hoyas (6-1) forced the Pacific Coast Athletic Association team into 41 percent shooting and 23 turnovers. The 49ers (4-2) had entered the contest with three starters hitting at least 52 percent and, as a team, shooting better than 50 percent from the floor.

Georgetown continued its domination of the offensive boards. The Hoyas had been tied for first in the country in rebounding margin before the game, and did nothing to hurt themselves by outrebounding Long Beach, 55-35, with a 24-11 edge offensively.

Charles Smith scored a season-high 20 points, two below his career high, on eight-of-13 shooting from the floor and four of seven from the line. Perry McDonald cleared a game-high 13 rebounds and converted eight of 14 foul shots in scoring 18 points. But as a team, the Hoyas made only 21 of 48 free throws (.438), meaning the rest of the squad was nine for 27 (.333). The Big Eight officiating crew called a total of 56 fouls on the two clubs, 35 on the visitors.

"I was pretty glad to see {the missed free throws} happen, to tell you the truth," Coach John Thompson said. "That's a good omen at Georgetown. If we make free throws, I'm going to be scared as hell. It seems that in order to be effective, we have to miss free throws."

The 49ers were almost as bad from the stripe, going 13 for 27.

The Hoyas came into the game leading the nation in scoring defense (51.8 points a game) and, although they gave up a little more than that yesterday -- they weren't playing Hawaii-Loa -- they held the 49ers well below their average of 94 points a game. Long Beach was led by guard Morlon Wiley (14 points), center DeAnthony Langston (12 points) and forward Andre Purry (10).

"We're a better team than we showed," said Coach Joe Harrington, "{but} I was more impressed with Georgetown after we played them than before."

Georgetown went to a three-guard attack early to exploit scoring opportunities along the base line. Though the Hoyas committed 23 turnovers themselves, they contrived to open up passing lanes and get a host of layins and fouls on Long Beach.

"We'll do it some," Thompson said of the three-guard offense, "but I'm afraid to psychologically {because} when you go to three guards, there's a normal tendency on the part of the opponent to think they can overpower you . . . It's not what it does, it's what it looks like it does that scares you."

"We did have a lot of motion with the three-guard offense," Smith said. "When we found an open man, we had very good passers in the game. We thought we could beat them on the break, on the backdoors and everything. I think we did a good job of beating them on the backdoors."

"When we brought the three guards in," said guard Dwayne Bryant, "they had the one big guy in the post {and} we were able to move the ball around the perimeter, make the cuts, get the easy baskets. I think they had a big lineup in there, and it was kind of hard for them to guard us."

The 49ers closed a 13-point halftime deficit to 46-41 with 15 minutes to play when Langston hit one of two free throws.

But when Bobby Winston missed the first free throw of a one-and-one -- Georgetown had seven such misses -- Winston gained the offensive rebound and scored to raise the lead back to seven. Smith stole the ball in Long Beach's back court and made a pullup jumper to build it to nine. Long Beach closed to seven on the next three possessions, but the Hoyas finally broke the game open going inside again and again.

First, Smith hit a minihook from the lane, then Mark Tillmon scored on yet another offensive rebound. After Rigo Moore made a 17-footer, Smith scored from the lane for a 60-49 margin.

With the count 62-51, the Hoyas' Johnathan Edwards was called for a foul. There was pushing underneath, which led to shoving and a double technical on Langston and Edwards. Langston missed the front of the one-and-one.

Harrington didn't mind the contact inside. "That's typical Georgetown. We played physical, they played physical," he said.

"I don't mind it that way. I'm kind of glad that we came out here and played against a real physical team. That's going to help us."

Bryant then scored from the left base line and was fouled. He missed, but Smith gathered the rebound. After a timeout, Bryant hit from the right base line to give Georgetown a 66-51 advantage at the nine-minute mark.

"We had a lot of open shots, but they just weren't dropping," said Wiley, who made three long-range three-point shots that kept the 49ers within 41-28 at the half.

"A lot of players were excited to be on the East Coast. This was the first time for a lot of players, coming this far; the excitement was still there. We just didn't settle down and play our game, instead of them dictating to us."

The 49ers next play American at Fort Myer on Monday.