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.).
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