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.