Only a Kris Joseph 3-point shot in the final 30 seconds of overtime separated Big East conference rivals Syracuse and Georgetown, as the former Baltimorian via Montreal had a career-high 29 points.
Syracuse came away with the 64-61 win, to earn Jim Boeheim’s 880th career win, third all-time in Division I, despite a 17 rebound deficit to the traveling Hoyas.
Observations on the game:
1. Starting With the End Game
Were going to start backwards here because the final portion of overtime was really hard to take for Georgetown due to mental errors, both on the court and on the bench. After Kris Joseph nailed a three to put ‘Cuse in the lead with 26 seconds left, Georgetown called timeout to setup their offense. The Hoya’s top three point shooter and one of the top long-range snipers in the country, Hollis Thompson was unable to check back in the game to aid in a game tying attempt. I am not going to get into whether the refs made the right call as far as the substitution rule (it appeared they did on t.v.), but why with a tie game Hollis, and maybe Markel Starks as well, were not set to check in at the scorers table anyway is beyond me. Freshman Jabril Trawick and Greg Whittington were the obvious sub-outs, and regardless of the outcome on the ‘Cuse offensive end (tie-game, or behind in need of a basket) it would have behooved the Hoyas to have two of their top offensive players set to check in. Don’t know who’s fault the situation was entirely, but after a brilliantly coached game Coach John Thompson III deserves the blame on this one.
2. Hoyas Gave ‘Cuse a Taste of Their Own Length
With both team’s playing a matching 2-3 zone extremely effectively for most of the game, it was interesting to see how the opposing sides used different strengths to attack on the offensive end. Syracuse relied on their multiple dynamic scorers to try and shoot their way out of trouble with minimal success. Only Kris Jenkins really had a good day on that end of the court and he really bailed out his teammates who seemed lost against the lengthy zone from the Hoyas. On the other end, Georgetown was forced to move the ball around constantly trying to setup the few offensive threats on the perimeter. When the ball was passed into the interior, Georgetown found some success in the mid-range area, especially Otto Porter, but Syracuse center Fab Melo negated much of the inside game with 6 blocks and many more plays where he effected shots.
3. Rebounding Woes for ‘Cuse, Strength for G’Town
Yes, that was a +17 rebound advantage for Georgetown, many of which came on the offensive end. Porter led the Hoyas with 13 rebounds, followed by Hollis Thompson with 10, and starting center Henry Sims with 8. On the other hand, Syracuse only had two players with more than 5 rebounds, foward CJ Fair and center Fab Melo. Early on in both halves, Georgetown was able to stay in the game because of their tenacity on the glass, and to be fair Syracuse appeared to be clueless in how to box out on the defensive end.
4. Big Time Game for Both Sides, No Real Loser
Georgetown will take the loss, and it makes it no easier to swallow that it occurred in overtime, on the road, to a one-loss team ranked 2nd in the country, but it should be said that this game exemplified high-level college basketball. The talent displayed from both sides, and the strategical game rolled out by both coaches was must see tv for college bball fans. Hopefully, these two teams will meet again in the Big East tournament in three weeks.
Here is the box score from both sides:
|Hollis Thompson, F||37||4-9||2-5||0-0||4||10||2||0||0||1||4||10|
|Nate Lubick, F||7||1-2||0-0||1-2||1||3||0||0||1||0||0||3|
|Henry Sims, C||25||1-12||0-0||4-4||4||8||3||0||0||3||4||6|
|Jason Clark, G||33||5-8||2-5||0-0||1||2||1||2||0||4||3||12|
|Markel Starks, G||22||3-10||1-8||0-0||0||1||1||1||1||0||0||7|
|Greg Whittington, F||29||0-2||0-2||3-4||2||6||4||3||2||2||2||3|
|Mikael Hopkins, F||19||1-8||0-0||2-2||2||4||0||0||1||1||2||4|
|Otto Porter, F||40||5-9||0-0||4-4||5||13||3||1||1||3||2||14|
|Jabril Trawick, G||13||1-3||0-1||0-0||1||1||2||1||0||0||0||2|
|Kris Joseph, F||45||9-20||6-11||5-6||2||5||0||3||0||1||0||29|
|Rakeem Christmas, F||3||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Fab Melo, C||39||5-8||0-0||1-1||3||7||0||0||6||2||3||11|
|Scoop Jardine, G||32||1-7||0-3||1-1||1||1||8||2||1||4||1||3|
|Brandon Triche, G||21||2-5||1-4||2-2||1||3||2||1||0||0||0||7|
|James Southerland, F||5||0-1||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||1||0||1||0|
|Dion Waiters, G||35||3-12||1-6||2-4||2||5||3||0||0||0||1||9|
|C.J. Fair, F||38||2-10||0-0||1-2||3||9||1||0||2||2||3||5|
|Baye Keita, C||5||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||2||0|
|Michael Carter-Williams, G||2||0-0||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||0|
Officials: Bob Donato, Joe Lindsay, Sean Corbin