GU Welcomes VT to Big East

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January 18, 2001

A sign in the stands may have said it all: “Welcome to the Big Time, Virginia Tech. This is Big East Basketball!” For the past several season that sign at a Georgetown game probably would not have intimidated anyone. But with the Hoyas entering the game 14-0 and playing the best team basketball in a decade, Virginia Tech might have been better off if they’d never left the team bus.

In the opening minutes of the first half the Hoyas displayed the talent and tenacity that have helped them to an undefeated start this season. The Hokies made the first basket, but they wouldn’t score another field goal for nearly 10 minutes. Georgetown’s defense was relentless and by the midway point of the first half, the Hoyas were up 25-6. By halftime the Georgetown lead was an almost insurmountable 29 points, 53-24.

Georgetown’s four-year seniors dominated the first half perhaps in a statement to first-years starters Mike Sweetney and Gerald Riley who have borne most of the offensive load in the early games of the season. Ruben Boumtje-Boumtje had 10 points and six rebounds while Nathaniel Burton and Anthony Perry added a combined 27 points off the bench.

Both coaches were in awe after the first half performance. After the game Head Coach Craig Esherick told the media that there wasn’t much he could critique about the Hoyas performance. “I had to work myself up at halftime,” he said.

On the other end of the spectrum, Virginia Tech Head Coach __ called the first half of the game “pretty much my worst nightmare.” Unfortunately for the Hokies, things didn\rquote t get any better in the second half.

Georgetown opened with a 16-5 run that left them up by 40 with only three minutes gone in the second half. To give you an idea about how big a lead this was, at one point over a four-minute stretch the Hokies went on a 16-0 run and were still down by 27.

Though Georgetown’s intensity let down somewhat in the second half and they failed to score 100 points, Esherick was not very concerned.

“The only thing I worry about now is complacency and people trying to redefine their roles.”

Esherick’s concern is justifiable, he has at least nine players who could probably start anywhere in the country and who all are most likely chewing his ear off for more playing time. All the same, howev

er, any coach in America would be foolish to complain about having Georgetown’s roster, and Esherick knows this better than anyone after last year’s underachievement.

“I feel a whole lot better about things than last year,” Esherick said. Maybe after a few more seasons in the Big East Virginia Tech could say the same thing.

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