Ewing Punched, but Hoyas Win and Will Play St. John’s
All-American Patrick Ewing, who was involved in a fight early in the first half, scored 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds Friday night as top-ranked Georgetown advanced to the Big East tournament championship game with a 74-65 victory over Syracuse.
The Hoyas (29-2) will take an 11-game winning streak into the title game tonight at Madison Square Garden against second-ranked St. John’s, an 89-74 winner over Villanova Friday night.
The Georgetown-Syracuse game was only six minutes old when 6-2 Dwayne (Pearl) Washington of Syracuse landed a punch to Ewing’s midsection after a scramble for a rebound under the Georgetown basket.
The 7-0 Ewing held his stomach and staggered backward after the punch. He then swung wildly with his right hand as the benches emptied and the two players were restrained.
Ewing was removed from the game for 53 seconds by Georgetown Coach John Thompson. Three minutes later, Ewing and Washington jostled each ther again. Ewing pointed a finger in the face of the Syracuse guard and warned, “Get off me.”
While Ewing later dismissed the brief explosion with Washington, the Syracuse player said: “He shoved me, and I hit him in the ribs. It was just reaction.”
Washington claimed that Ewing hit him twice during the incident, although Ewing appeared to miss him once before he fell to the floor.
“That might have been the most exciting thing in the game,” Thompson said. “I didn’t see anything, anyway. It just gave me a chance to run on the court and get some exercise.”
Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim said: “All I saw was Patrick swing. I didn’t see what preceded it.”
As for the game, Thompson said, “We didn’t have the spark that we normally have. But our guys are not robots, machines. . . . I think it was very emotional and draining for both teams.”
Both teams shot 43% from the floor, but Georgetown outrebounded the Orangemen, 49-25.
David Wingate led the Hoyas’ scoring with 16 points, and Bill Martin added 15. Rafael Addison’s 23 points, 15 in the second half, topped the scoring for the Orangemen (21-8).
Syracuse, one of Georgetown’s conquerors this season, had been beaten by the Hoyas, 90-63, last Sunday.
The St. John’s win in the second game set up the third meeting of the season between the Redmen and the Hoyas. The teams split their earlier games, the decision each time reversing the teams’ No. 1 and No. 2 national rankings.
St. John’s (27-2) received well-distributed scoring. Walter Berry pounded inside for 22 points, Mike Moses added 17, and All-American Chris Mullin had 14 plus 11 assists.
For Villanova (19-10), Ed Pinckney scored 27 points, 22 in the second half. He was backed by Dwayne McClain, Harold Pressley and Dwight Wilbur with 12 each.