Georgetown played a typical Big East game tonight against second-ranked Pittsburgh. The Hoyas shot terribly from the foul line, played tough man-to-man defense and hit clutch shots down the stretch. Naturally, they beat the Panthers, 62-57, in front of 13,970 at Capital Centre.

Unfortunately, as has been their history, they also were involved in a fight, this one involving Georgetown guard Mark Tillmon and Pitt forward Jerome Lane. Tillmon was ejected, though Lane, who also threw punches, was not.

"The fight and the pushing and shoving was about nothing," said Georgetown's Perry McDonald. "Mark Tillmon barely got into a pushing match. The game is like that."

But there was plenty of game left after the fight (it happened with 11:27 left in the first half), and the Hoyas won in the second half with their old standbys, defense and rebounding.

The game was decided when the Hoyas snagged two clutch offensive rebounds, and Pittsburgh Coach Paul Evans, protesting a no-call on a claimed travel, was hit with two technical fouls with 29 seconds left.

The first half was interrupted by the fight, which took place after Tillmon and Pittsburgh's Nate Bailey both came down with the ball. Bailey and Tillmon came together and threw elbows.

Players on the court came together. Lane came across and shoved Tillmon, who responded with a punch. Both players threw punches as both benches cleared, while referee Larry Lembo held Tillmon away from Lane.

"We were tied up for a jump ball, the ref called a jump ball," Tillmon said. "He swung an elbow, so I pushed off, I had to defend myself. So Jerome Lane came over and pushed me, so I pushed him back, and that's what initiated the whole thing."

"When a fight happens, you've got to help your teammate," said Lane, who wound up with 12 points and 16 rebounds. "Somebody starts fighting somebody, and I just went in to help one of my teammates. And they just attacked me from everywhere."

"You know I don't never see no damn fights," Georgetown Coach John Thompson said. "All I do is run out on the floor and try to break them up. As they say, blessed is the peacemaker. I'm the peacemaker. I'm running out there, trying to break it up."

The Hoyas kept the Panthers off the boards the final 4:44 of the half, and scored the last eight points for a 32-26 halftime lead.

The game seesawed in the second half, and Georgetown took the lead for good on a three-pointer by Charles Smith (20 points).

Pittsburgh's Charles Smith (12 points) kept the Panthers in the game, after he had been ineffective the first half with three fouls. Smith made two straight shots, the last pulling Pitt within 56-52. But Pittsburgh's Smith fell out of bounds on the next possession, and McDonald (15 points) scored inside off a pass from Dwayne Bryant to give the Hoyas a 58-52 lead at the 3:30 mark.

"The way they worked the ball, Perry's just under the hoop with that tough left hand," Lane said. "Smith outside killed us because he hit the three and opened it up for Perry."

Georgetown took away Lane late in the game, and with Pittsburgh's Smith not getting position inside, the Panthers had to rely on outside shooting. Swingman Demetreus Gore was two for nine, and guards Sean Miller and Jason Matthews went four for 11.

"We knew we had to extend our defense on the perimeter," Thompson said, "because of what they could do to us inside. If we had done a better job on the boards the score would have been much different, but they beat the hell out of us."

Lane then scored on one of his seven offensive rebounds to bring Pittsburgh within four. He was fouled, but he missed the free throw. Pittsburgh closed to 58-56 with 2:10 left on two free throws by Matthews.

But Georgetown won the game after Jaren Jackson missed a three-pointer with time running down on the 45-second clock. With Pittsburgh players standing around, Jackson grabbed the offensive rebound on the left wing.

The Hoyas burned off more clock, then Smith threw up a desperation three-pointer. The shot was way off, but Jackson gained the rebound again. Bobby Winston got the ball out front, and Evans came up screaming.

First Barr nailed Evans with a technical, then Evans was assessed by Jody Silvester. Official Larry Lembo was about to hit him with a third, but Lane grabbed Lembo and pleaded Evans' case down.

Evans wanted a traveling call on Georgetown's Winston.

"After four steps, I think you ought to get a traveling call," Evans said. Then he {Barr} has the nerve to tell me he was looking for it in the back court. For $650 {official's pay} you ought to be able to see both."

Thompson drew a technical after the game clock remained stuck at 22 seconds while Pittsburgh came downcourt and took a shot. But it didn't affect the outcome of the game.

"We didn't utilize the advantage that we have, which is height inside," Pittsburgh's Smith said. "What we did, we cut the lead, but in the second half we kept letting them get us into a running game."

The game, which was scheduled to be televised by ESPN, was blacked out locally because of a contract the network has with the Big East. According to Tom Odjakian, a programmer with the cable company, the blackout could have been lifted if Georgetown wanted to do so.

"We didn't expect them to lift it {the blackout}," he said. "If they wanted to, they would have."