LANDOVER -- They invaded Kansas State, scrapped and hustled and came away with a respectable 69-60 defeat that provided hope for a rebuilding team with a new coach.
But last night the Morgan Bears encountered a potential national championship roster with an All-American point guard. And they buckled.
Sixth-ranked Georgetown had Allen Iverson and too much of everything else for the Bears, rolling to a 104-60 victory before 8,435 fans at the USAir Arena.
And what did Morgan coach Chris Fuller learn from the game? "Not to schedule them anymore," he said, proving the rout did not deprive him of a sense of humor.
The outcome was determined in the final 12 minutes of the first half when the Hoyas completely unnerved Morgan with their defensive swarming and pulled away from a one-point lead to a 53-26 halftime cushion.
"I was concerned about that score at Kansas State," said Hoyas coach John Thompson. "But our pressure just disrupted them and took them out of a lot of things they wanted to do."
Fuller agreed. "Their pressure rattled us early and we never recovered from it. Once we solved the press it was much too late. We dug a big hole in the first half and afterward we filled it in with dirt."
A three-point basket by Iverson jump-started the big run by Georgetown (9-1), and the Bears then crumbled against the traps.
The Hoyas converted steal after steal into easy scores, accounting for 22 first-half points after Morgan turnovers.
By the break, Iverson had 16 points, including two three-pointers and two dunks, six assists and six steals and forward Jerome Williams had amassed 12 points and six rebounds.
It became so lopsided that the Hoyas were making some plays that Thompson didn't think necessary. One was a dunk by Jerry Nichols that resulted in an immediate seat on the bench beside the Georgetown coach.
"You don't go up on somebody and do a 360 when you're up by 40 points," said Thompson. "To me, that's worse than taunting. So, I took him out and he told me it wasn't intentional."
Morgan stayed with the Hoyas for slightly more than eight minutes, trailing 17-16 after Scott Deas made a three-pointer with 11:42 left in the first half.
Then, it was lights out for the Bears.
Iverson connected on a three to start a Georgetown run that culminated in a 53-24 lead just before the break. A driving basket by Morgan freshman Rasheed Sparks concluded the first-half scoring.
The Bears had their only lead at 2-0 when Dwayne Holmes accounted for the first basket of the game.
But Georgetown soon took over and forged ahead, 15-7, while Morgan struggled to hold on to the ball.
A goaltending call against the Hoyas' Boubacar Aw on a Deas drive launched a brief Bears spurt that got them within one.
Then, it became a nightmare for Morgan, which couldn't break through the Hoyas' traps and surrendered layup after layup after giving up possession.
By the end of the half, Morgan had 20 turnovers, which the Hoyas converted into 22 points. A much taller Georgetown club also had a 27-12 edge on the backboards.
Iverson finished the half with 16 points -- including two three-pointers and two slams on breakaways -- six assists and five steals.
The Hoyas' only defeat was 91-81 to Arizona despite a career-high 40 points by Iverson.
MORGAN STATE -- Sparks 6-11 0-1 13, Holmes 2-5 1-2 5, Watson 1-4 1-2 3, Grant 2-3 0-0 5, Rucker 0-2 0-0 0, Herron 0-1 0-0 0, Wright 1-7 0-0 2, Deas 4-6 1-2 10, Bennett 0-1 0-0 0, Demory 3-9 0-1 8, Lewis 6-10 2-4 14. Totals 25-59 5-12 60.
GEORGETOWN -- Aw 1-3 0-0 2, Williams 8-10 2-2 18, Harrington 2-7 1-2 5, Iverson 9-17 0-0 20, Page 7-16 1-1 16, Touomou 0-1 2-2 2, Jackson 2-9 0-0 4, Berry 0-1 0-0 0, Gaughan 0-0 1-2 1, Dia 3-7 2-2 8, Nichols 4-6 0-0 9, White 6-13 7-11 19. Totals 42-90 16-22 104.
Halftime--G'town, 53-26. 3-point goals--MS 5-15 (Sparks 1-2, Grant 1-1, Watson 0-1, Rucker 0-1, Herron 0-1, Deas 1-2, Demory 2-7). GT 4-12 (Iverson 2-5, Page 1-3, Touomou 0-1, Jackson 0-2, Nichols 1-1). Fouled out--Watson. Rebounds--MS 30 (Wright 7), GT 60 (White 11). Assists--MS 18 (Wright 6), GT 27 (Iverson 7). Total fouls--MS 21, GT 13. A--8435.