The No. 11 Georgetown Hoyas snapped the 38-game home winning streak of Big East rival Syracuse in the Carrier Dome on Saturday in a hard-earned 57-46 victory.
This contest would be best characterized as high-intensity and low-scoring, which were both expected from these two storied programs. An ugly start resulted in a 23-21 halftime advantage for the eighth-ranked Orange, but they were unable to muster any sort of consistency.
Otto Porter Jr. had a career-high 33 points and eight rebounds to lead the way for Georgetown, keeping the Hoyas afloat in the first half, especially.
Porter drained six of 10 shots in a 16-point effort in the first 20 minutes, including two out of five attempts from beyond the arc. It would have been mighty ugly for the Hoyas if not for that, as the rest of the squad managed just one field goal before the break.
Turnovers were a big key for success for Georgetown, but the Hoyas' lead began to slip in the last seven minutes of the game after three consecutive giveaways. But a game-changing block by Hoyas center Moses Ayegba thwarted the momentum, and a subsequent four-point play by Porter extended the lead to 45-37 with roughly 4:50 remaining.
The record-setting Orange crowd attempted to will their squad back into the game, but to no avail. Jim Boeheim ratcheted up the defensive intensity by deploying a full-court press, which led to an increase in turnovers by Georgetown. It was too little, too late, though.
The Orange were led by James Southerland, who scored a team-high 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Senior guard Brandon Triche struggled, making just one of seven three-pointers and notching 10 points.
Georgetown improves to 11-3 in the conference and 21-4 overall—breaking a tie with the Orange—and momentarily possesses the outright Big East lead over Marquette, which plays at Villanova this evening.
It was certainly a difficult loss for Syracuse considering its previously undefeated record at home, but the Orange will have to get up for a difficult road test against the Golden Eagles on Monday night.
ESPN's Dana O'Neil highlighted the extent to which Porter carried the Hoyas on Saturday.
Otto Porter has 11 made field goals. No one else on team has more than 2. No one.— Dana O'Neil (@ESPNDanaOneil) February 23, 2013
SNY-TV host Jonas Schwartz pointed to a quote from Georgetown head coach John Thompson earlier in the week, which sounded prodigious due to Porter's outstanding performance.
Last week John Thompson III told us @snytv that Otto Porter is as good as any other player in the country. Certainly looks like it today!— Jonas Schwartz (@Jonas_SNY) February 23, 2013
Paul Braverman, a PR manager for the York Revolution baseball team, pointed out an interesting historical fact that is sure to sour the Syracuse loss even more.
Georgetown won at Syracuse when they named the floor after Boeheim, and now the day they retired Carmelo's jersey. Oh...— Paul Braverman (@PaulBraverman) February 23, 2013
CBS analyst Wally Szczerbiak sent out a congratulatory tweet to New York Knicks star and former Orange national champion Carmelo Anthony, who had his number retired during the halftime break.