Syracuse outlasts Georgetown in overtime

Kris Joseph nails 3-pointer during extra play that the No. 2 Orange need to top No. 12 Hoyas.

There was no way No. 2 Syracuse (24-1, 11-1) was going to let No. 12 Georgetown (18-5, 8-4) just walk into the Carrier Dome and beat them. There was no way senior forward Kris Joseph was going to let his team lose against their Big East rival. And there was no way Jim Boeheim was going to have to wait until another game for win number 880 to pull ahead of Dean Smith for the third most wins by a coach in NCAA Division I history. It took overtime, but the Orange was able to pull out the 64-61 victory against the Hoyas.

Photo: Brandon Weight
C.J. Fair blocks a shot against Big East rival Georgetown.

With 29 seconds left in overtime, Joseph hit his sixth 3-pointer of the night to put the Orange up by three. That would prove to be the game's last points, as senior guard Scoop Jardine stole the ball from Jason Clark with five seconds left in the game and sealed the Big East victory.

“Kris bailed us out,” Boeheim said after the game. “He made some shots for us. Nobody else was really comfortable shooting the ball.”

Joseph finished the night with a career-high 29 points. While he didn’t shoot well from the floor (45 percent on 9-20 shooting), Joseph did have a nice night from behind the arc, shooting 54.5 percent. He also had three steals and five rebounds in the win.

“It was big for me,” Joseph said. “I needed one of these games. I was due for one. And it's good that it was against Georgetown.”

SU came out slow in the first four minutes of the game, shooting a dismal 1-7 from the field. Jardine was particularly disappointing, making poor decisions and bad shots early on.

Syracuse was also outrebounded by a margin of 26-17, allowing the Hoyas to make second chance shots and stay ahead for most of the first half.

Luckily for the Orange, Joseph would not allow Georgetown to get too far ahead. After a 6-0 run led to a 17-12 lead for the Hoyas, Joseph hit his first 3-pointer of the night to bring the Orange within two points with under 10 minutes remaining in the half.  When the Hoya lead was extended to 20-15, Joseph hit his second three of the night, followed by an incredible Fab Melo dunk off a C.J. Fair pass to tie the game up at 20-20 with 6:30 left in the half.

The Orange got their first lead of the night since the opening basket when Fair made one free throw to put the Orange up 21-20 with five minutes left in the half. But a 9-2 run by the Hoyas - aided by a slew of missed baskets from the Orange- brought the lead up to 29-23. SU then went on a small run of its own to end the half down 31-27.

“We just did not attack their zone,” Boeheim said.

The second half opened up much different than the first for the Orange, who came out firing. A Jardine 3-point play ignited an 8-0 run by SU in the first two minutes, putting the Orange up 35-31. However, missed shots and poor defense allowed the Hoyas to erase that deficit and tie the game at 35-35.

The two teams traded buckets, and neither Syracuse or Georgetown could muster a lead of more than two points. But, with under five minutes left in the game, Joseph hit another crucial 3-pointer to give the Orange a six point lead over the Hoyas. But once again, poor defense allowed Georgetown to respond with a 7-1 run that would tie the game up at 55 a piece. That's where the score would stay until the final buzzer, sending SU to its first overtime game of the season.  

Neither team was able to pull ahead by much in overtime. After Dion Waiters shot a pair of free throws, the game was tied at 61 apiece. With under a minute to go, Georgetown had the ball and was driving down the court. But with Fair and Melo holding down the paint, Georgetown was unable to convert two close shots and Syracuse gained possesion off the rebound.

“He [Melo] was great,” Waiters said. “He is an asset on defense. His presence changes a lot of shots.”

After a Syracuse timeout, Jardine took the ball out of the pick and roll, saw Melo under the basket, looked to Melo, but instead passed the ball to a wide-open Joseph who hit his sixth, and most important, 3-point shot to give the Orange a 64-61 lead, which would eventually be the final score of the game.

“The way the game was going, they were leaving me open for some reason, and I was able to sneak behind their defense and get open,” Joseph said. “Scoop did a great job of finding me.”

While this was a great win for Syracuse, Boeheim remained critical of his team, especially due to their inability to rebound.

“Right now, I don't think we are a good basketball team because we can’t rebound,” Boeheim said.

The Orange was sorely outrebounded the entire game, 52-35. Boeheim said that such a performance was very disappointing at this point in the year.

“You can miss shots, that's part of the game,” Boeheim said. “But we got to find a way to rebound the ball.”

Melo’s presence was a big factor in the win. While the 7-foot sophomore center did not haul in as many rebounds as he usually does, Melo did finish the night with six blocks and 11 points to go along with seven rebounds.

“They tried to make lay-ups or dunk it, but I was getting blocks,” Melo said. “I protect the basket. It’s my lane.”

Surprisingly, only two bench players scored for the Orange Wednesday night. Fair scored five points and had a team-high nine rebounds, while Dion Waiters had nine points, five rebounds, and three assists.

Scoop Jardine could not find his shot the whole night, only tallying three points off one shot. However, the senior guard did dish out eight assists to lead the team.

The Orange return to the Dome Saturday to face UConn. The game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.