Once in the nation's top five, the Syracuse men's basketball team suddenly can't find any consistency, home or away.
When no. 11 Georgetown, riding a six-game win streak, went to the Carrier Dome last Wednesday night, it was undaunted by the Carrier Dome crowd of 27,154 very vocal fans. As projected, it was largely a defensive battle, but
the Hoyas, by finishing fast, beat SU 64-56.
The contest featured nine ties and six lead changes - but down the stretch, run the Hoyas conquered the Orange with a 12-2 run. Georgetown limited SU's scoring to just three points in the last seven minutes and, in turn, got head coach John Thompson III his first win in the Dome in six tries.
For the Hoyas, Austin Freeman scored 14 points and four other Georgetown players were in double figures. Hollis Thompson added 11 points and was three-for-three beyond the 3-point arc as Julian Vaughn delivered 12 points.
The Hoyas trailed late, but rallied past the Orange thanks to Freeman's game tying 3 and two uncontested fast break scores from Jason Clark. What severely hurt SU, said Kris Joseph, were defensive breakdowns late in the game.
"They (Georgetown) made their shots at the end and we had some miscues and they capitalized," said Joseph, who led Syracuse with 14 points. "We did not get back on defense, and we can get a lot better on offense."
SU, no. 12 at the time, appeared to be in good shape rebounding after a four-game skid by winning two straight times over Connecticut and South Florida. However, the Orange's inconsistent offense continued to be an area of concern.
It's hard to win games when the Orange shoot 39.5 percent from the perimeter and four of 16 from 3-point range. And The Hoyas, physically smaller than the Orange, got more rebounds, 34-28. and deserves credit for being an unselfish team, posting 20 total assists and shooting 24 of 53 (45.3 percent) from the floor.