At this point in time the Syracuse Orange had lost on all 9 of their visits to the DC area to play the Hoyas. The Orange came to the Capital Centre with a great deal of swagger, as nobody had been able to handle their massive front court. Everyone was predicting that the #11 Orange would defeat the Hoyas handily on this day, except for big John Thompson and Georgetown. As Georgetown was recovering from their Big East road losses, coach Thompson came up with a masterful game plan. Everyone was expecting Georgetown to spread the court and try to turn the game into a perimeter game. When the game started the Hoyas powered the ball inside for dunks and power moves by Ronnie Highsmith, and company. The Orange were caught completely by surprise as they did not expect for us to attack the strength of the Orange defense. The Hoyas led for most of the game with this strategy as they were fueled on by the sellout Capital Centre crowd. However, late in the second half the Orange finally took control of the game as Derrick Coleman, and Rony Seikaly powered the Orange back. It was remarkable to see Perry McDonald, the former Golden Gloves boxing champ from Louisiana, play center against the much taller Rony Seikaly for most of the game. Perry no longer had Reggie Williams or David Wingate with him. Perry was one of those players who could lose to anyone in "Horse," or a practice shoot around. He shot much better in big time situations especially when he was fouled or hit while shooting. Georgetown battled back to tie the game. In one of the most intense finishes of the Heart Attack Hoyas, Georgetown threw the ball directly into the post as they had done all day. Perry McDonald turned immediately into Rony Seikaly in the high post and banked in a 12 footer as the game ended. It was Syracuse's 10th straight loss in DC against Georgetown without a win. The Orange would break that streak the following season, but not on this night. It was evidence that if you gave John Thompson a few days to come up with a game plan, he and the Hoyas were almost unbeatable at home. Coach Boeheim has recently called the Georgetown-Syracuse rivalry during the 1980's as the greatest, most intense rivalry in college basketball history. When I heard him make this statement, I thought to myself: "Really! Bigger than Duke-Carolina or any other rivalry?" When I thought about Perry McDonald's game winning shot on February 13, 1988 in Landover, Maryland I realized he was right. When I saw Perry McDonald at the 100th anniversary of Georgetown Basketball in 2007 I enjoyed many Georgetown fans thanking Perry and telling him that the Syracuse Orange never want to see him again. Let's not forget it was a team effort by all of the Hoyas. Everyone on that team executed the game plan to perfection. Thanks for the memories--Heart Attack Hoyas!
We are Georgetown!
Dr. Thomas A. Wong
Hoya Hoop Club Vice-President--Communications
Proud Member of Generation Ewing