NCAA

Patrick Ewing leads Hoyas to a dominating season-opener against Jacksonville

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Patrick Ewing leads Hoyas to a dominating season-opener against Jacksonville

WASHINGTON — Patrick Ewing led Georgetown to the pinnacle of college basketball, then had a Hall of Fame career in the NBA. His first game back at his alma mater as coach, though, provided him an entirely new experience.

"As a player, I never really got nervous," Ewing said. "As a coach, I got nervous. The biggest difference is I'm counting on these guys. As a player, I'm counting on myself."

Cheered loudly in his return to Georgetown, Ewing led the Hoyas to a 73-57 win over Jacksonville on Sunday in his sideline debut.

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With playing rival Michael Jordan and fellow Georgetown alumni Alonzo Mourning, Dikembe Mutombo and Otto Porter Jr. in the arena, along with his former New York Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy, Ewing began his first head coaching job at any level.

"I had a lot of friends here," Ewing said. "It meant a lot to me, too, because they showed up to support me."

It also was a sign of how deep Ewing's influence runs at his alma mater more than three decades since he last played for the Hoyas.

"I always tell people I would not have been in the NBA if it wasn't for Patrick Ewing," Mutombo said. "He took Alonzo Mourning and I and told us what it takes to get to the next level. I told him I'm one phone call away. If I have to jump on a flight to D.C., I'll be here."

Spectators cheered when Ewing walked onto the floor for the first time, about 10 minutes before the opening tipoff. Moments later, Ewing was given an ovation when the spotlight fell on him as he was introduced after the Hoyas' starters.

Jessie Govan led the way for the Hoyas (1-0) with 20 points and 15 rebounds, while Marcus Derrickson also scored 20.

"The whole team really wanted to get a win in his first game," Govan said. "That was a real big goal of ours."

JD Notae had 18 points for Jacksonville (0-2).

Ewing is the Hoyas' career rebounding and blocks leader and ranks second in points. He led Georgetown to three Final Four appearances and the 1984 national championship under coach John Thompson Jr.

Thompson's son, John Thompson III, was fired after consecutive losing seasons, the school's first such skid since enduring three in a row in the early 1970s.

After his playing career, Ewing was an assistant coach in the NBA for 15 years, including a stint on Van Gundy's staff in Houston.

"I think the biggest thing is you have to find your voice," Van Gundy said. "He's got his voice. He's very commanding and demanding. The thing I think that is so critical is you can be demanding, but you have to be incredibly personable, which he is. ... He's very comfortable with who he is, and that's a big step."

BIG PICTURE

Jacksonville: The Dolphins completed a rough opening weekend that began with a 96-67 loss to UAB. They won't face a high-major foe again until Dec. 22 at N.C. State. "I think it's going to juice our practices a little bit because we've gone out and seen what the world has to offer," Jacksonville coach Tony Jasick said.

Georgetown: The Hoyas held Jacksonville to 32.7 percent shooting, including just 23.3 percent in the first half. "We understand it's the first game, but the way they're playing, it's just taking me back to the `80s and `90s when the old man (Thompson Jr.) was here," Mutombo said.

UP NEXT

Jacksonville: The Dolphins meet North Carolina A&T in their home opener on Saturday.

Georgetown: The Hoyas continue their season-opening three-game homestand as Mount St. Mary's visits Wednesday.

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Villanova takes top spot in new AP Poll, but West Virginia is climbing

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Villanova takes top spot in new AP Poll, but West Virginia is climbing

Villanova's unbeaten start now includes a No. 1 ranking in the AP Top 25 , while Arizona State is making a rapid rise into the top 10 under third-year coach Bobby Hurley.

After a tumultuous week in which unanimous No. 1 Duke and No. 2 Kansas lost, the Wildcats (10-0) earned 41 of 65 first-place votes to hop over Michigan State and reach the top for the third straight season.

Villanova and Michigan State were the favorites to take over at the top after the Blue Devils' weekend loss at Boston College, though there was far less certainty for voters about who was now the nation's top team. The Spartans (9-1) earned 19 first-place votes to climb from third to second, while the other five first-place votes went to the Sun Devils -- who leapt 11 spots to No. 5 after Sunday's win at Kansas.

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Arizona State (9-0) is off to its best start since the 1974-75 season. Now the Sun Devils — who also have a win against Xavier this season — have their highest ranking since reaching third during the 1980-81 season.

Wichita State climbed three spots to No. 3, followed by Duke and Arizona State. Unbeaten Miami climbed four spots to No. 6, followed by North Carolina, Kentucky, Texas A&M and Xavier to round out the top 10.

Villanova helped itself with an impressive win against No. 12 Gonzaga last week in New York, though the Wildcats had to fight to the final minute Sunday to close out a La Salle team that entered at 5-5.

"It's always an honor to be ranked No. 1," Villanova coach Jay Wright said in a statement. "It's great for the Nova Nation and we appreciate the respect of the writers. We know it's early, though, and we need to get a lot better."

West Virginia made one of the biggest jumps this week in the poll, climbing seven spots to No. 11 from No. 18 last week. Virginia — following its 68-61 loss to West Virginia — dropped one spot to No. 16. 

Although it's not quite in the mix yet, Virginia Tech received 15 votes this week, and Georgetown — which grabbed a few votes last week — is no longer in the mix, despite remaining undefeated with the best record in the Big East.

KANSAS' FALL

The Jayhawks (7-2) slid 11 spots to No. 13 after two losses last week, the first coming against Washington in Kansas City, Missouri, before losing to the Sun Devils in Allen Fieldhouse.

SHUFFLE UP

Only two teams — No. 8 Kentucky and No. 12 Gonzaga — stayed in the same spot. Thirteen teams rose in the poll, while four of the seven teams that fell slid at least eight spots.

TOP RISERS

Arizona State's leap was the biggest, though No. 11 West Virginia (9-1) moved up seven spots after beating then-No. 15 Virginia. No. 14 TCU (10-0) climbed six spots after a win against a then-ranked Nevada team.

Miami, UNC, No. 15 Seton Hall, No. 17 Purdue and No. 20 Tennessee all climbed four spots.

LONGEST SLIDES

While Kansas' losses stood out, No. 22 Florida had the biggest fall of the week.

The Gators (6-3) slid 17 spots after home losses to Florida State and to Loyola Chicago — a game in which they led for all of 93 seconds. Florida salvaged a win against Cincinnati in the Never Forget Tribute Classic in Newark, New Jersey, to avoid a four-game skid.

No. 18 Notre Dame (8-2) fell nine spots after an upset loss to Ball State, while the No. 25 Bearcats (7-2) slid eight spots.

NEWCOMERS

There were three newcomers to this week's poll, though one is more of a welcome back.

The list included No. 19 Florida State (9-0) and No. 24 Texas Tech (7-1), while Arizona returned to the rankings at No. 23.

Arizona's 0-3 showing at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas made the Wildcats the first team in three decades to go from No. 2 in the AP Top 25 to unranked in a week. But four straight wins have the preseason Final Four favorite back in the poll.

SLIDING OUT

Minnesota (No. 14 last week), Nevada (No. 22) and Southern California (No. 25) all fell out of the poll.

NBC Sports Washington contributed to this report.

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Army holds off Navy to win after a missed field goal on the final play

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Army holds off Navy to win after a missed field goal on the final play

PHILADELPHIA -- Bennett Moehring narrowly missed a 48-yard field goal in a swirling snow on the final play as Army held off Navy 14-13 Saturday to win its first Commander-in-Chief's Trophy since 1996.

Army (9-3) earned its second straight win over Navy (6-6) following 14 straight losses in the series.

Ahmad Bradshaw pushed over the goal line on quarterback sneak with 5:10 remaining and Blake Wilson kicked the extra point to put Army ahead.

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Quarterback Malcolm Perry, who ran for 250 yards and a 68-yard score in the second quarter, led Navy to the Army 31 with 3 seconds left.

Navy elected to try a field goal and after about 10 players used their feet to clear the snow, Moehring's kick was long enough but drifted barely left.

Army cut its deficit in the series to 60-51-7 in a matchup of bowl-bound teams. The Black Knights claimed the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy thanks to an earlier victory over Air Force.