Orange avenge earlier loss, take out Georgetown, 58-51

For the second straight road game, Syracuse held off a higher ranked team to win on the road as they beat Georgetown Saturday, 58-51.

In the latest chapter of one of the Big East’s fiercest rivalries, No. 20 Syracuse pulled out a 58-51 road upset over No. 11 Georgetown. The Orange improved to 24-6 overall and 11-6 in the conference.

Junior Scoop Jardine led the way for the Orange with a game-high 17 points. Jardine also dished out seven assists to help ruin Senior Day for the Hoyas.

Photo: Courtesty Marissa Amendolia, The Hoya
Syracuse used stingy defense Saturday as the Orange held the Hoyas to 36 percent shooting and 51 points en route to a seven point win.

The loss of senior point guard Chris Wright clearly hurt Georgetown on both sides of the court. Wright had surgery on his left hand after a collision in the loss to Cincinnati earlier this week.

He is averaging a team-leading 5.4 assists is the team’s second-leading scorer with 13.1 points per game. In Georgetown’s first action since Wright's injury, no Hoya managed more than three assists.

Syracuse’s head coach, Jim Boeheim noted that without Wright, the Hoyas were not the same. 

“Obviously Chris Wright not playing is huge. I hope he’s all right, I hope he can come back because Georgetown is one of the best teams in our league with him playing,” Boeheim said.

Despite a pointed effort to keep Syracuse fans from purchasing tickets, there were visible splashes of orange in the sea of blue-and-gray Hoya fans, especially in the nosebleeds. The audible calls of “Scoooop” could be heard every time Jardine scored.

Many of the games between these two teams over the years has not been pretty. This game was no different. Offensive finesse has never been a part of their rivalry and it showed.  Georgetown normally makes 48.9 percent of its field goal attempts, yet the Orange held them to only 36 percent shooting.

Boeheim gave full credit to the stingy Hoya defense in his post-game remarks.

“There was nothing easy, everything was contested. Everybody was going to the basket. There weren’t many things called,” Boeheim said.

It was just as ugly from beyond the arc for both teams. Syracuse drained only six of 20 three-point shots. Georgetown was even worse, making only seven out of 25 shots.

Syracuse jumped out to a 10-5 lead early in the first half on a Brandon Triche 3-pointer. The Hoyas kept it close though, pulling within one to make it 17-16 with 10 minutes to play in the half.

After back-to-back layups by Jardine and senior Rick Jackson, both teams went on a dry spell, managing six missed shots, four turnovers and one point between them.

Freshman center Fab Melo brought back the scoring action with his only bucket of the day. Melo, who hasn’t seen much action lately, sprinted down the floor to catch a pass by Jardine for a thunderous dunk.  The Orange then went on a 10-6 run to close out the half, leading 33-23.

The second half was a defensive struggle for both teams. Syracuse failed to rebound and shoot well.  Meanwhile, Georgetown stormed back from a 12-point deficit to take a 47-45 lead with 10 minutes left. Jason Clark made two huge 3-pointers to push the Hoyas to the lead. Clark had 11 points on the day.

“We didn’t do a good job on the boards in the second half and that hurt us,” Boeheim said.

With a commanding lead gone and control of the game slipping away, it looked like Syracuse was going to suffer a repeat of their loss to Georgetown a few weeks ago. Yet the Orange pulled it together and Syracuse jumped on a 9-1 run to make 54-46 with just less than three minutes to play.

Like it has been all year, Jardine and Jackson were the catalysts during that stretch. Jardine scored seven of his 17 points during that run and Jackson nabbed four of his nine rebounds.

Triche made all four of his free throws down the stretch to seal the win for the Orange.

Syracuse hosts DePaul Saturday March 5 to close out the regular season. If Syracuse wins, they are almost a lock for a coveted double bye in the Big East Tournament. Despite DePaul’s 7-21 record, Jardine pointed out that in the Big East, nothing is guaranteed.

“We want to get better on offense and defense. Our league is the best league in the country. They’re going to come in our house and try and win a game from us,” Jardine said.

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