- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 1, 2001

GEORGETOWN 74, RUTGERS 58

There's nothing as bittersweet as a fond farewell.

A trio of Georgetown Hoyas playing their last home game made certain Senior Night resulted in a Georgetown success. Seniors Ruben Boumtje Boumtje, Lee Scruggs and Anthony Perry combined for 38 points and 20 rebounds, carrying the 21st-ranked Hoyas to a 74-58 pounding of Rutgers before a subdued crowd of 9,918 last night at MCI Center.

"This might sound crazy, but I guess they were just waiting for this moment to explode," said junior point guard Kevin Braswell, describing the play of the senior trio. "It's like they were waiting for that final bus ride to MCI Center, that final time in our locker room, everything. They were just unreal. Lee had it going, Anthony was on his game, and Ruben just kept scrapping in the middle. That's the way it should happen in your last home game."

The Georgetown victory, combined with West Virginia's loss at Miami, guarantees the Hoyas (22-6, 9-6 Big East) no worse than a third-place finish in the Big East West division. If Georgetown beats Notre Dame on Sunday in South Bend, the Hoyas would finish second in the division and earn a first-round bye in next week's conference tournament.

But most of the attention last night revolved around the Hoyas four seniors, including Nat Burton, who obviously wanted to enjoy one more carefree romp before beginning the stressful postseason.

Coming off an emotional victory over Syracuse on Saturday, Georgetown was predictably sluggish at the start. But after the Hoyas fell behind Rutgers (11-15, 3-12) three minutes in, coach Craig Esherick sent Perry and Scruggs into the game and the senior reserves took care of business.

The pair contributed 19 straight points for the Hoyas over the next nine minutes, outscoring the Scarlet Knights by themselves and giving Georgetown a 26-18 lead that was never challenged.

In many ways, the sequence represented all that could have been for the two seniors, who never quite meshed on the Hilltop.

Perry, a former McDonald's All-American guard who came to Georgetown as the program's most heralded recruit since Allen Iverson, sat out his freshman season as a Prop 48 candidate and spent the rest of his career struggling with an erratic shot. Scruggs (14 points, eight rebounds), a 6-foot-11 junior college transfer from Daytona Beach (Fla.) CC who has alternated between offensive flash and defensive incompetence during two seasons marred by academic suspensions, never really found a regular slot in Esherick's rotation.

But both were brilliant last night, raining in 3-pointers and looping home slashing floaters as Georgetown pulled away midway through the first half.

"Lee's my suite mate, and we always talked about doing this someday, both of us lighting it up," said Perry (11 points in 18 minutes). "That's what happened during the middle of the first half. We brought a lot of energy and fire tonight, and it gave the team a spark… . It was a great feeling being out there as a senior. It seems like I was always the young guy, watching other seniors come and go. Tonight it was me playing my last game at MCI, and it was very emotional. It seems like it came so fast. It's been wonderful."

Boumtje Boumtje, the Hoyas' inconsistent 7-foot center, must have felt left out at intermission after making just one of seven shots. But after Perry and Scruggs led the Hoyas to a 36-27 halftime lead, Boumtje Boumtje took charge of the final 20 minutes.

Three different Scarlet Knight pivot players collected 14 fouls trying to guard "Boom Boom," who burned Rutgers for 15 points, eight rebounds and two blocks most during an opening stretch of the second half in which the Hoyas raced out to a 58-40 lead.

"I'm very pleased with the way Ruben is playing," Esherick said. "The last couple of games, he's really stepped up, and we need him to step up because the competition is only going to get better."


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