After a shaky start, Georgetown sprinted past American at a breakneck pace and produced the second highest offensive output in the school's history last night in a 105-71 victory at McDonough Gymnasium.

"We've been practicing real well," said Georgetown Coach Patrick Knapp. "We focused real well during the exam break. . . . Credit our kids for studying, practicing and balancing themselves. We just have played more together. I think that's the big thing."

Georgetown came six points shy of breaking the record of 111 points in a game against Goucher during the 1978-79 season.

Defense provided the impetus for the Hoyas, whose variety of presses and ballhawking tenacity forced 24 turnovers.

"We were much quicker on the ball," said Knapp. "We stripped and flicked and tipped a lot of balls tonight which resulted in a lot of fast breaks, and that's how we want to play."

As usual, sophomore Kris Witfill led the Hoyas with 25 points as the Hoyas had five players in double figures. Karen Sheehan scored 18, Leni Wilson 14 and Tricia Corace and Peggi Jewell each scored 10.

Felicia Young led American with 17 points.

Georgetown shot 56 percent from the field while limiting the Eagles (4-6) to 45 percent for the game and 42 percent in the second half.

The Hoyas (4-3) are above .500 for the first time this season and have won three straight since a 71-64 loss to George Washington.

The Hoyas trailed most of the first half before a 10-2 run enabled them to take a 29-26 lead on Leni Wilson's pull-up jumper with 5:29 remaining in the half.

After American closed to 33-32, Georgetown had an 11-2 spree at the end of the half, highlighted by Witfill's jumper and three-pointer.

The Eagles got within 62-58, but the Hoyas responded with a 16-2 burst to put the game away.

Virginia 96, Morgan State 37: In Charlottesville, top-ranked Virginia led 53-9 at halftime. Tonya Cardoza led six players in double figures for the Cavaliers.

Virginia (8-0) shot 48.4 percent from the field, compared with 23.2 percent for Morgan State (1-7), which made three of 30 field goal tries in the first half.