2 Comments Published on 2.19.2010 by Brian Harrison
Syracuse loves the drama. That and the fact that it is Syracuse versus Georgetown, and no game comes easy in this rivalry. Well, it could be that the referees bet the point spread or that ESPN needed the ratings. Na, it just has to be the fact that Syracuse and Georgetown play in the Big East. Either way, this game was exciting, dramatic, entertaining, and occasionally frustrating as hell for both sides. Syracuse ends up winning this one though, 75 to 71, completing the season sweep of the Hoyas over Georgetown, and winning for the first time at Georgetown since 2004.
This game started off the exact opposite as the game in the Carrier Dome did earlier this season. Syracuse jumped out to an early 13 to 2 lead. Syracuse simply dominated the first half, causing several Georgetown turnovers and shooting the ball very well. While Georgetown came to bring it down to just a four point lead in the middle of the first half, Andy Rautins was definitely hot and SU finished up 44 to 31 at the half. Georgetown was facing the best half of defense Syracuse was playing all year. In the second half Syracuse missed a lot of easy shots and their shooting percentage fell from 54% to below 30%. Rick Jackson even missed a dunk at one point. Joseph was shooting poorly as well. Georgetown suddenly started getting the ball inside to Monroe and subsequently both Rick Jackson and Arinze Onuaku fouled out due to getting some quick whistles in the first half. Monroe simply dominated the smaller Syracuse inside the zone. It was very active in the first half, but the team was tired in the second half allowing Monroe to get more looks and easy baskets. Syracuse managed to hit a lot of free throws in this game however, and Kris Joseph made a brilliant basket going straight through the lane as time winded down, as Syracuse ended up pulling out a big win over #10 Georgetown in DC.
Andy Rautins played his best game of the year as well. He was simply brilliant in this game, especially in the first half. He earned 26 points on 6-11 shooting, 5-9 on three point baskets, and hit 9-11 from the free throw line, including two at the end of the game to give Syracuse a four point lead, putting the game out of Georgetown's reach. He also pulled down seven rebounds in this game, and picked up a technical foul for doing not much of anything.
Wes Johnson had 16 points on a terrible shooting night. While he did hit 2-4 from behind the arc, he went 3-8 from the floor. He was a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line though. He also had eight rebounds. His big contribution to the game however was his wing defense and his five blocks on Georgetown in the first half. He still did not take over this game on offense, although he appeared to be 100% healthy in his shooting mechanics.
Kris Joseph had the play of the night in SU's final play from the floor. With 25 seconds left and only a one point lead, the play was drawn up for Joseph. The floor was spread, Joseph attacked the basket down the lane, split two defenders, and nailed the lay up. Rautins then later sealed the deal, but this game could have ended up totally different had Joseph not made that final basket. He finished with 11 points despite having a terrible day on the floor shooting 3-11.
The SU big men did not have a great day, but did do their part on defense in the first half. Rick Jackson had 12 points and eight rebounds on 4-7 shooting in 29 minutes. Arinze Onuaku on the other hand had two points on 1-3 shooting and only two rebounds. Both men fouled out in the second half with significant minutes to play. Both men should not have had so many fouls in the first half. I will add however that the foul that sent Rick Jackson to the bench was a completely legitimate blocking foul, despite what all of Twitter seemed to think. He shuffled his feat and banged the G'town player, despite being straight up and down.
Speaking of the referees, it is possible we are playing more attention based on all this referee talk and the Higgins article as of late, but they were not great in this game, especially in the first half. They were calling very insignificant touch fouls and body contact that should never be called, especially in the Big East. The days of calling fouls in one league one way and a different league another are gone, but there were still problems in this game. It seemed that the referees wanted to set the tone early that this game is not going to get too physical or out of hand. While this is not necessarily a bad strategy for refereeing as referees at every level do this, it was absolute overkill and there was no indication that the game was in fact getting to physical or chippy. This strategy resulted in a double technical foul being called on Andy Rautins and Chris Wright after right fouled Rautins hard at the top of the key. We obviously don't know what was said, but James Breeding made a completely unnecessary call.
Looking at the game, Syracuse outperformed Georgetown on the offensive end. Syracuse only shot 44.4% (20-45) in this game, but Georgetown did worse with 38.5% (25-65). Additionally, hitting 8-15 (53.3%) from beyond the arc always helps as well. Georgetown only manged 5-20 (25%). Syracuse had excellent perimeter defense in the first half, but missed a lot of open looks in the second. In the shocking statistic of the season, Syracuse shot 90% (27-30) from the free throw line in this game. Their hitting of shots from the charity stripe, and better than they have done all season, was a huge factor in keeping the lead against Georgetown. Georgetown only hit 16-24 (66.7%). Unfortunately, Syracuse had 18 turnovers in this game, while Georgetown limited their turnovers only to 10, most of which happened in the first half. Syracuse was also out rebounded by one with 30, but had two more assists with 12.
Syracuse performed a virtually perfect half to start this game on both ends of the floor, but then shot poorly in the second half and got both tired on defense in the second half, but had both their big men unavailable for a good portion of the stretch, resulting in a furious Georgetown comeback that almost turned into a Syracuse loss. But it was not to be. Syracuse hit their free throws and made big plays when they had to as well. It also helped that Georgetown took unnecessary three point shots instead of feeding their big man inside at the very end. Syracuse walks away with another win versus a ranked team and a season sweep of Georgetown. Syracuse may not appear to be invincible anymore, but when you keep winning who cares.
Finally, the big winners in the latest t-shirt contest were Ben and
MCamps Mike T. You folks need to e-mail me at the e-mail on the sidebar to claim your prize. Congratulations to them and look for more chances to win in the future.