Georgetown 64, Syracuse 56: Hoyas Complete Second-Half Comeback To Down Orange

-- SB Nation's Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician as the Syracuse Orange angle while The Casual Hoya covers Georgetown.

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Syracuse Basketball Score and Reaction: Georgetown's Victory Creates Fork In the Road For SU

Despite trailing 53-49 with 6:24 to go in the game, the No. 11 Georgetown Hoyas rallied Wednesday night to beat the Syracuse Orange (No. 12 in the AP poll and No. 13 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll), 64-56, in a Big East Conference rivalry game at the Carrier Dome.

It was a roller coaster-like game for the Syracuse basketball program, which experienced its worst fear — senior forward Rick Jackson getting into foul trouble and sitting for extensive time — but survived it because a trio of freshman, C.J. Fair, Dion Waiters and Baye Moussa Keita played well. However, it wasn’t enough for Syracuse, which allowed Georgetown to put together a late 11-2 run that led to another Big East loss for the Orange (20-5, 7-5 Big East).

Junior forward Kris Joseph scored a team-best 14 points for SU, but that’s not a positive. Actually, it’s was sort of embarrassing because Joseph, the team’s leading scorer (15.0 points-per game) had 10 points in the first half! Joseph was basically useless in the second half.

Jackson, who found himself in early foul trouble because of a couple questionable offensive charging calls — but that's life — had a solid first half (four points and seven rebounds). However, Jackson finished with four points and eight rebounds.

Senior point guard Scoop Jardine played well — at least I thought. In the second half, Jardine allowed the freshmen to take over and help build momentum. Despite shooting 2-of-7, Jardine attempted only one 3-point shot and mostly attempted driving runners that created easy second-chance baskets for Fair or Baye. Jardine’s "COME ON!" moment came when he made a bonehead decision on the offensive-end of the court, then put his head down on defense, which allowed Georgetown senior guard Austin Freeman to convert an easy transition lay up. The basket allowed the Hoyas to take a 57-55 lead with about three minutes remaining.

All-in-all, SU faithful will not be happy with the effort. Especially, the effort that came in the final five and a half minutes when Jackson returned to the game. However, Jackson did suffer a lot of foul trouble, Triche didn’t put on his usual second-half performance and the freshmen looked like they’re progressing well. It wasn’t a “W” and Syracuse faithful will hear a lot of chirping from Hoya fans, but Orange nation wont be committing mass suicide after this one.


Georgetown 64, Syracuse 56 Final Score: Hoyas Use Second-Half Comeback To Down Orange

Senior guard Austin Freeman scored nine of his team-best 14 points in the second half Wednesday night to help the No. 11 Georgetown Hoyas earn a 64-56 victory against the host Syracuse Orange (No. 12 in the AP poll and No. 12 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll) in a Big East Conference rivalry game at the Carrier Dome. The Hoyas (19-5, 8-4) collected their seventh straight victory and prevented SU's Jim Boeheim from earning his 850th win as head coach.

The Orange (20-5, 7-5) led 53-50 with 5:37 remaining in the game, but Georgetown used an 11-2 run to take a 61-55 advantage with 1:53 to go and hung on for its second straight victory against SU. The Hoyas made their run after SU's senior forward Rick Jackson re-entered the game after sitting out nine-plus minutes because of foul trouble. However, instead of rallying around its most consistent player, Syracuse lost momentum and dropped its fifth game in its last eight contests.

Leading 31-29 at halftime, SU could only increase its margin to four points, 53-49, with 6:24 to go. However, SU retained the momentum because it played well without Jackson, who committed his fourth personal foul and sat on the bench at 14:40.

It was the freshman trio of C.J. Fair, Dion Waiters and Baye Moussa Keita that kept the Orange competitive. However, in the end, the experience of Georgetown's Freeman, junior guard Jason Clark (12 points and five assists) and senior forward Julian Vaughn (12 points and eight rebounds) was too much. Sophomore guard Hollis Thompson added 11 points, including a wide-open 3-pointer that came with 3:50 to go and gave the Hoyas a 55-54 advantage they would never lose.

Despite scoring 10 first-half points, junior forward Kris Joseph netted just 14 points to lead SU. Fair added 12 points, five rebounds and two blocks off the bench. Jackson finished with four points and eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Brandon Triche had 11 points.

For the game, Georgetown was 24-of-53 from the field (45.3 percent) and 9-of-21 from behind the 3-point arc (42.9). Syracuse finished 19-of-48 (39.6) on field goals and 4-of-16 (25.0) from 3-point land. Syracuse had more turnovers (14-13) than Georgetown, which won the rebound margin, 28-21.

The Syracuse basketball schedule features the Orange traveling to the No. 15/16 Louisville Cardinals on Saturday (noon on ESPN). Next week, Syracuse hosts the West Virginia Mountaineers (No. 25 in the AP poll) in an ESPN "Big Monday" Showdown (7 p.m.); then hosting the Rutgers Scarlet Knights Saturday (4 p.m.).


Syracuse 31, Georgetown 29 Halftime Score: Kris Joseph Has Game-Best 10 Points For SU

Junior forward Kris Joseph has a game-best 10 points for the Syracuse Orange (No. 12 in the AP poll and No. 13 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll), who earned a 31-29 lead heading into halftime against the Georgetown Hoyas in Big East Conference matchup at the Carrier Dome. Freshman forward C.J. Fair has added eight-bench points while freshman guard Dion Waiters' lone field goal beat the halftime buzzer and gave SU a two-point margin heading into the locker room.

The Hoyas (18-5, 7-4) hit three of their first four 3-point jumpers to take an early 11-5 advantage with about 15:30 to go. The early run was propelled by junior guard Jason Clark who connected on his only two 3s of the half, while senior guard Austin Freeman added a 3-point basket.

The Orange (20-4, 7-4) answered by outscoring Georgetown 13-5 in game's next seven-plus minutes and took a 18-16 lead with about seven minutes to go. SU increased it's lead to 23-18 after senior forward Rick Jackson collected a rebound and converted a lay-in, then sophomore guard Brandon Triche nailed a 3-pointer with 5:21 to go.

Georgetown did take a quick 26-25 lead with 2:11 to go, but SU responded with a small 6-3 run that was capped by Waiters' buzzer beater.

Currently, SU is 11-of-26 (42.6 percent) from the field and 3-of-9 from behind the 3-point land. Senior forward Rick Jackson has four points and game-best seven rebounds. For Georgetown, Clark and freshman guard Markel Starks each have a team-best six points. Senior guard Austin Freeman has five points for the Hoyas, who is 11-of-27 (40.7) from the field and 6-of-12 from 3-point land.


Pre-Tip Off Thoughts: SU's Defense On Austin Freeman Is Key To Victory

In their last two games, the Syracuse Orange (No. 12 in the AP poll and No. 13 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll) used a well-known, modern-day strategy that usually produces college basketball victories. The strategy, which is often called "holding the star player of the opposing team to single digits in scoring", will probably be needed Wednesday night as the Orange (20-4, 7-4) host No. 11 Georgetown Hoyas and Big East Preseason Player Of The Year, senior guard Austin Freeman, in a Big East Conference matchup at the Carrier Dome (7 p.m. on ESPN).

Last Wednesday, SU held Connecticut Huskies junior guard Kemba Walker, who entered the contest as the nation's second-best scorer, to just eight points on 3-of-14 (.214 percent) shooting. That defensive effort on Walker, who's now ranked sixth in the nation in scoring average, helped earn a road victory, 66-58, and snapped Syracuse's four-game losing streak. The 'Cuse defense followed up that performance Saturday afternoon, holding South Florida Bulls junior forward Augustus Gilchrist, who entered the matchup averaging a team-best 12.8 ppg, to just four points on 2-of-10 shooting.

Freeman is the key to Georgetown's offensive, which ranks second in the nation in field-goal percentage (50.2) and second in the conference in 3-point percentage (38.4). So far this season, the Hoyas are 10-1 when Freeman, who is shooting .457 percent from behind the 3-point arc, nets at least 20 points. However, the importance of the 6-foot-4 guard was showcased earlier this season during an early-season slump that had Georgetown losing four of it's first five Big East contests.

The nine-game slump -- which started with a loss at the Temple Owls (Dec. 9), finished with a home loss to Pittsburgh Panthers (Jan. 12) and the Hoyas compiling a 4-5 record -- featured Freeman averaging 15.2 points -- currently, Freeman has the third-best scoring average in the conference (18.7). Since then, Georgetown, which slipped to No. 23 in the country on Jan. 17, rallied with a six-game winning streak. The recent streak has been propelled by Freeman, who has compiled a six-game average of 22.1 points and earned Big East Player Of The Week honors, Jan. 24.

So just in case Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim forgot to place the "cover Austin Freeman 2-3 zone scheme" into Wednesday night's game-plan. Here's a reminder to SU, COVER FREEMAN!


Syracuse Vs. Georgetown: SU's Jim Boeheim Tries For 850th Victory

The Syracuse basketball program (ranked No. 12 in the AP poll and No. 13 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll) will try to add to its current winning streak of two games and recent success against Big East Conference rival, No. 11 Georgetown Hoyas, Wednesday night at the Carrier Dome (7 p.m. on ESPN). The Orange (20-4, 7-4), who have beaten the Hoyas (18-5, 7-4) in three of their last four meetings, ended a four-game losing streak last week by earning road wins over No. 9/10 Connecticut Huskies and South Florida Bulls.

Wednesday night's matchup will also feature SU trying to help its head coach, Jim Boeheim, record his 850th victory. Boeheim, who's in the midst of his 35th season at SU, needs just one win to join Bob Knight, Dean Smith, Adolph Rupp and Mike Krzyzewski as the only NCAA Division I men's basketball head coaches to accomplish the milestone.

To earn that honor, Boeheim will need forwards, senior Rick Jackson and junior Kris Joseph, to be at their best. Currently, Joseph leads the team in scoring average (15.0) but shot just 7-of-19 from the field (.368 percent) and netted 12.5 points-per game in SU's two victories last week. However, Jackson, who was named to the Big East honor roll on Monday, has been consistently good. Entering Wednesday's game, Jackson leads the Big East in rebounding and field-goal percentage.

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2010 - Rick Jackson 24 35.0 5.9 10.1 58.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.8 3.5 49.4 3.8 7.8 11.5 2.5 1.9 1.3 2.3 1.8 13.5

The Hoyas began Big East play losing four of their first five games. Since then, Georgetown has rattled off six straight victories, which feature beating the St. John's Red Storm, Jan. 26, No. 9/10 Villanova Wildcats, Jan. 29, and No. 16/17 Louisville Cardinals, Jan. 31.

Georgetown's best player is the Big East Preseason Player Of The Year, senior guard Austin Freeman. Freeman is a lethal 3-point shooter (.457 in 116 attempts) who ranks third in the conference in scoring (18.7 ppg). Currently, the Hoyas are 10-1 when Freeman scores at least 20 points. Junior guard Jason Clark (.388) and senior guard Chris Wright (.315) can also make shots from behind the 3-point arc. In the middle, Georgetown features 6-foot-9 senior forward Julian Vaughn.

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2010 - Julian Vaughn 22 23.9 3.2 5.8 54.7 0.0 0.1 0.0 2.7 3.9 69.4 2.4 4.1 6.5 1.6 2.0 0.3 2.2 2.7 9.0

As a team, Georgetown is second in the nation in field-goal percentage (50.2) and are second in the conference in 3-point percentage (38.4).

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