WASHINGTON (AP) -- The turning point was halftime. It gave both teams a chance to calm down.
Victory was never in doubt for Georgetown (No. 4 ESPN/USA Today, No. 5 AP) in Saturday night's 110-51 victory over Radford, so the only suspense was whether any players would get into a fistfight following an ill-tempered first half."I think our guys were trying to compete and say, 'We don't want to get dunked on without fighting back a little bit," Radford coach Brad Greenberg said.Georgetown's Roy Hibbert, Patrick Ewing Jr. and Vernon Macklin all took exception to hard fouls by Radford players in the first half, and double technicals were assessed twice -- once to Ewing and Philip Martin and later to Georgetown's Tyler Crawford and Radford's Nick McFarlin.Several players had to be separated after the Crawford-McFarlin push-and-shove under the Hoyas' basket in the final minute of the first half, and the teams were sent to their benches while officials spoke to both coaches.Greenberg said the topic was discussed "aggressively" in the locker room at halftime, and the second half was more civil."I have respect for Georgetown," Greenberg said. "I wanted our guys to learn how to compete against a team that is that strong -- and even if they get a shot that they may take offense to, grit your teeth, play tougher, play smarter. Don't back down, but don't do something that anybody could interpret as not being fair play."Georgetown coach John Thompson III said the flare-ups were just a part of competition, but he admitted that he consider not sending his star 7-foot-2 center Hibbert back onto the court because of concern that an ugly moment could lead to an injury."It got kind of testy out there in the first half, but I don't think our guys were going to do anything stupid," Thompson said. "And all of us have to learn how to function when emotions are high."Score-wise, the game was all anyone could expect from a team looking to return to the Final Four facing one picked to finish last in the Big South. The Hoyas had a double-digit lead after 3 1/2 minutes, and Thompson was substituting freely within 10 minutes. Georgetown led 52-28 at halftime, even though Hibbert had yet to take a shot.Freshman Austin Freeman scored a season-high 21 points to lead the Hoyas (8-0), off to their best start since opening 10-0 in 2003."They jumped on us so quick," Greenberg said. "We lost some poise early, and they made 3s, and we never had a chance to be in the game. It was over before the first timeout."Amir Johnson scored 12 points and Kenny Thomas had 10 to lead the Highlanders (4-7). Radford was playing a ranked team for the first time since a 92-52 loss to No. 6 Wake Forest on Dec. 18, 2000.The Hoyas broke 100 points on freshman Omar Wattad's 3-pointer with 5:28 to play, giving Georgetown its first triple-digit game since Thompson became coach in 2004. Georgetown shot 71 percent in the second half and a season-high 65 percent for the game in its annual showcase at the school's tiny on-campus McDonough Gymnasium.The Hoyas regularly play their home games at the Verizon Center, but their occasional game on campus is a treat for the students, who turn the gym into an earsplitting din. Georgetown hadn't lost since 1982 at McDonough -- a 23-0 streak -- until last year's 75-62 loss to Old Dominion.Late in the game, students began chanting "We want Memphis!" -- a look-ahead to next Saturday's game on the road against the nation's No. 2 team.It was a rare moment in which Thompson wasn't happy with the fans."We don't need to do that," Thompson said. "I didn't just cringe, I turned and told them, 'Let's stop."