WASHINGTON, D.C. — With about four minutes to play in the first half, Tyler Roberson rolled off an on-ball screen he had set for Michael Gbinije near the right elbow. Gbinije then hit Roberson with a bounce pass as Roberson sprinted, unaccounted for, toward the basket. A moment later, Roberson slammed home an uncontested dunk.
Then, two Georgetown possessions later, Roberson swiped away a low post entry pass, leading to a Syracuse steal. Following the steal, in transition, Trevor Cooney located an open Gbinije, who drilled a 3 on the right wing, cutting GU's lead to 31-24 with 2:26 left in the first half.
It was that kind of day for Roberson, who was at times the Orange's best player on both ends of the floor in their 79-72 loss to the Hoyas at the Verizon Center. But he had to exit the game after picking up his third foul with just over a minute left in the half, and foul trouble would plague his day for the rest of the afternoon.
Roberson played 15 minutes in the first half, and all of those minutes came prior to him picking up his third foul. He led Syracuse in that half with 10 points and six rebounds, five more than any other SU player.
"I was just active and I played hard," Roberson said. "When I'm active, good things happen."
In the second half, Roberson played just 11 minutes and did all of it while playing with three or four fouls. To avoid having Roberson risk fouling out, Mike Hopkins — coaching in place of the suspended Jim Boeheim — had to continually substitute him in and out of the game.
In total, Roberson was subbed out of the game five times in the second half. When he was playing, the foul trouble negatively affected his overall aggressiveness, and he finished the half with just five points and two rebounds.
"(The fouls were) in the back of my mind," he said. "You have to be smart. You have to know the situations, what to do and when not to go after a certain ball or rebound as aggressive."
Despite that, though, Roberson still finished with 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds, including four on the offensive glass — three of which resulted in second chance points.
In an up-and-down season for Roberson, it was easily one of his better showings yet in 2015-16. Only once has he scored more, as he had 20 points against Elon. And though he's had more rebounds in four other games, he only scored in double figures in two of those games.
Roberson also set a number of effective screens throughout the day. He won't get credit for those plays in the box score, but they often freed up his teammates and led to better looks both inside and outside for other players, making Roberson's presence that much more beneficial on Saturday.
Said Cooney: "He's a really tough guy to defend when he does all of that stuff well and has space. And he showed that today."