WASHINGTON — In an old Big East rivalry game, the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team had a 10 point lead at the half, but ultimately the Georgetown Hoyas mounted a comeback to win 79-75 inside Capital One Arena on Saturday.
Syracuse jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead as Jimmy Boeheim scored the first bucket of the game (tradition) and Jesse Edwards finished off of a no look pass from Joe Girard. But Malcolm Wilson responded with a dunk on Edwards. Buddy Boeheim hit his first three of the game, but Kaiden Rice hit two wide open triples and Georgetown went up 8-7 at the first media timeout.
Rice hit another wide open triple attempt on his next try. Swider hit one from range shortly thereafter then Carey was fouled on a triple attempt. He made all three to put Georgetown up 14-10. Both teams traded buckets until Syracuse ripped off a 9-0 run. Anselem ran the floor and Girard rewarded him as his dunk put Syracuse up 18-16, which led to a Georgetown timeout. Buddy Boeheim then made his second triple of the night to end the run, giving Syracuse a 21-16 lead.
That lead was quickly erased, however as a layup inside and a triple by Dante Harris knotted the game at 21 at the under eight minute media timeout.
Benny Williams made his first appearance of the game at the 6:52 mark. After another Georgetown corner three, Girard was fouled on a three point attempt and he made all three to bouy the lead back to five.
Benny Williams scored his first field goal since the Auburn game on a nice spin through traffic on the lefthand side. He then blocked a shot on the next play. Down the stretch it was Edwards and Girard for Syracuse. The 6-foot-11 center scored over his left shoulder on the right block. Then Girard buried his second triple for 13 first half points.
An Edwards layup just before the half gave Syracuse a 44-34 lead at the break.
Jesse Edwards lays it in just before the half to give Syracuse a 10 point lead. Nice protect on the finish. pic.twitter.com/W1T5fN5ThX— James Szuba (@JamesSzuba) December 11, 2021
Georgetown came out strong out of the intermission and Syracuse’s 10 point lead was whittled down to just four by the first media timeout of the second half.
A Carey three for the Hoyas out of the gate and a three point play from Aminu Mohammed quickly made it 44-40. Swider answered with a three to put Syracuse back up seven, but Mohammed responded right back with a triple of his own. Edwards finished a dunk inside but a Holloway bucket made it 49-44 at the 15:28 mark.
Edwards picked up his third foul at the 13:52 mark. After the Hoyas forced a shotclock violation, Capital One Arena erupted with its loudest cheers of the day. Syracuse called timeout with the game tied at 51. It was a close contest the rest of the way.
Buddy Boeheim scored inside for Syracuse but the Orange fouled Carey on a three pointer. He made it and the free throw for a four-point play. Jimmy answered with a bucket inside plus the foul. Then a Rice three made it 63-57. But Buddy Boeheim responded with a three to get the game back within one possession with under eight minutes to play.
Edwards — who has struggled with foul trouble this season — picked up his fourth foul at the 7:33 mark. But Jim Boeheim elected to keep him in the game and he didn’t pick up a fifth foul the rest of the way.
On the next Syracuse offensive possession, Swider connected on an important three and it was back and forth down the stretch. The Syracuse defense struggled to get stops in the second half. From the Syracuse bench, Symir Torrence jumped up and down, trying to remind his teammates to keep their hands in the air on defense. The Orange forced shot clock violation on that possession and Jimmy scored on the other end to give Syracuse the lead back at 67-66 to begin a series of lead-changes in crunch time.
Georgetown regained the lead on a pair of free throws, then Buddy scored again inside to get the lead back. But the Hoyas had the answer once more as a baseline jumper by Mohammed made it 70-69. Then Edwards scored to make it 71-70, only for Mohammed to score again inside. Jimmy Boeheim tipped in his brother’s miss to make the score 72-71 Syracuse, but Georgetown answered once more from range to make it 75-73. In the game’s final stretch, Swider missed a three for Syracuse and on the next defensive possession he fouled Carey, who made both to put Georgetown up four with 16.3 remaining.
On the next play, Girard drove and finished for Syracuse with 10 seconds left and was fouled, but missed the free throw. Georgetown made a pair and put the game away and the Hoyas preserved the victory.
Syracuse has a week off before returning home to take on Lehigh next Saturday. That game tips off at 6 p.m. and airs on the ACCN.