Senior point guard Scoop Jardine scored 10 of his game-best 17 points in the second half to help the Syracuse Orange (No. 17 in the AP poll and No. 20 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll) earn a 58-51 victory at the No. 11 Georgetown Hoyas in a Big East Conference rivalry game at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. Senior forward Rick Jackson added 12 points and nine rebounds for the Orange (24-6, 11-6 Big East), who earned their fourth straight victory, including two consecutive on the road against Top 15 opponents.
The victory keeps SU in the hunt for a two-round bye in the upcoming 16-team Big East Tournament, March 8-12. The top-four conference teams earn a two-round bye, the next four get a one-round bye, while the rest of the eight teams play first-round games Tuesday, March 8. Currently, the Orange are alone in fifth place, but have the head-to-head tiebreaker against fourth-place St. John's Red Storm, who have three regular-season games remaining.
Syracuse held off a hard charging Georgetown, which trailed 33-23 at halftime and had a chance to tie the game late, but could not convert. With SU leading 54-51 with about 30 seconds remaining, Hoyas' junior guard Jason Clark had his game-tying 3-point attempt deflected by SU's 6-foot-7 junior forward Kris Joseph. Syracuse's sophomore guard Brandon Triche knocked down two free throws to extend the Orange's lead to 56-51 and cemented the victory.
The Hoyas (21-8, 10-7) outscored SU 17-6 to take a 45-43 advantage with 9:55 to go, but Syracuse responded with a 11-1 run, led by Jardine's seven points, to collect a 52-46 lead with 3:58 remaining.
Statically, SU finished 22-of-54 (40.7 percent) from the floor and 6-of-20 (30.0) from behind the 3-point line. Sophomore forward James Southerland scored all nine of his points in the first half. Triche also finished with nine points. Joseph netted just four, but had a key rebound and block late in the game.
Georgetown finished 18-of-52 (34.6) on field goals and 7-of-25 (28.0) from 3-point land. The Hoyas outrebounded SU, 33-31. However, committed 15 turnovers to the Orange's 11. Freeman netted a team-best 16 points, while Clark finished with 11.
The Syracuse basketball schedule features the Orange hosting the last-place DePaul Blue Demons next Saturday (4 p.m.) in their regular season finale.