As the Big East rivalry was renewed, the Syracuse Orange completed a miraculous comeback to pull off the 86-79 overtime win against the Georgetown Hoyas. The inability to hit shots from the perimeter hurt them early, but Syracuse found a way to pull this one out with a monster performance from Tyus Battle.
It was an ugly offensive start for both teams, with the score being 3-0 in Syracuse’s favor at the first media timeout. Battle got the team on the board first with a nifty and one jump shot, but it was the Orange’s zone in the first half that impressed the most—again. The Hoyas struggled to get the ball inside of the zone due to the length of Battle and Frank Howard, and even when they did manage to get it inside, the size of the Syracuse forwards was too much for the Hoyas to finish over.
Despite the positives from the Syracuse defense, the offense was as stagnant and out of sorts as it has been yet in the first half. The Orange struggled to find open looks on the perimeter and were left taking contested shots as the shot clock dwindled down. The Hoyas went into a zone at times which caused the Orange to rely on their outside shooting, and it was the same as it’s been all season long: unsuccessful.
The Orange saw success when they were able to attack the Hoyas with drives towards the rim, but it wasn’t an often occurrence as Syracuse was mostly left taking contested shots in the first half. The first ended with a few threes from Battle, but it wasn’t enough to give the Orange a first half lead, with the Hoyas leading 28-24 heading into the break.
The Orange used their press to create turnovers that led to easier looks in the second half. Their inconsistent offense carried over to the second half, but they got hot from deep at the right time to complete the miraculous comeback.
Oshae Brissett got the comeback started with some big three point shots, something coach Jim Boeheim has said repeatedly that he can do. Howard showed up in the second half with a few nice drives towards the rim that led to easy layups. He did have a game high seven turnovers, but the Orange wouldn’t have sent this one to overtime without the help of their junior point guard.
A few threes off of Georgetown turnovers led the Orange to tying it up at 69 (nice.) at the end of regulation. A big three to start the overtime session by Battle set the tone for the Orange in overtime. Brissett and Howard gave the Orange the secondary scoring they needed, but it was Battle who saved Syracuse late in this one with another legendary performance. He had a game high 29 points as he got hot at the right time to help the Orange walkaway with a huge win. The big three of Battle, Howard, and Brissett combined for 73 points, something coach Jim Boeheim would love to see more often.
The Orange obviously need to improve at getting easy looks in the half court, but they’ll take a sloppy win like this one any day of the week. It was a classic Syracuse verses Georgetown battle, but it was Battle and the Orange who will celebrate this rivalry win.