Harrington, Hoyas too much for UMES Freshman center sparks 87-54 win

WASHINGTON — WASHINGTON -- For most of the first half, UMES was hanging right their with 11th ranked Georgetown, seriously risking its status as a cream-puff -- almost a pre-requisite for an early-season Hoyas opponent.

But then Georgetown freshmen center Othella Harrington raised his hand to be heard, and the 6-foot-11, 236-pounder quickly put an end to any thoughts of a competative game.


Largely ignored after scoring his team's first two points of the game, Harrington scored seven points during a 12-0 run in the closing minutes of the first half and launched the Hoyas to their expected rout in last night's 87-54 win.

The Hoyas improved to 4-0 led by Harrington's 16 points (5 of 6 from the field) and 10 rebounds. Fresh men forward Duane Spencer scored 10 and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds in the first game played at Georgetown's McDonough Arena since 1982-83 season.


"This feels like home, this is where we practice," said Georgetown coach John Thompson of playing on campus. "At the Capital Center, it's more like a road game for us."

Before being overwhelmed, UMES (2-4) showed some signs of possibly being a surprise team in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference when league play begins next month.

"I felt Maryland-Eastern Shore had a very scrappy team, and [assistant coach Craig Esherick] told me their three perimeter guys were pretty good perimeter players," said Thompson. "They played well. They were not in awe of us."

That was evident early. UMES, a 79-37 loser to Georgetown a year ago, led, 18-17, with 7:08 left in the half following back-to-back three pointers by Marlin Kimbrew (16 points) and Dale Harrison (10 points). After a 10-7 run helped Georgetown regain the lead,a three-pointer by Zack Allison (13 points) had the Hawks to within 27-24 with 2:59 left in the half.

But then Harrington began to assert himself, and the Hoyas went on that 12-0 run to take a 39-24 lead at the half.

The 33-point final margin represented Georgetown's biggest lead of the game.

"Once we were a little more patient -- and stopped relying on the jumpers and getting the ball to Othello -- that was the difference," Thompson said. "[Harrington and Spencer] were really getting on the boards well."

Especially Spencer, whose versatility has impressed Thompson. A 6-10 freshmen from New Orleans, Spencer has shown himself to be a pretty good ball handler.


"He's legitimate, he can go both left and right," Thompson said. "I told him he's going to have to have a lot of stamina in the Big East."

Games against Georgetown may help to provide UMES stamina when the Hawks begin play in the MEAC. Although the margin of defeat was large, coach Rob Chavez saw some things on the court that he thinks will help later down the road.

"I think our kids played inspired basketball," said Chavez, in his first year at UMES. "We played pretty smart basketball the first 17 or 18 minutes. But they scored the last 12 of the half and that deflated us a little bit.

"Our kids realize that maybe the score wasn't indicative of how well we played. [Georgetown's] a good basketball team and, when you lack the physical size it's just real hard to match up."

Despite the loss, Chavez said the inspired first 17 minutes of the game will be something to build on.

"Any time you play Georgetown it's a learning experience for a program trying to rebuild," Chavez said. "We started the week against Maryland, then against [rival] Salisbury and now Georgetown. It's been a very educational week for a rookie coach."