One game after holding Villanova guard Corey Fisher to a sub-par game, Syracuse will try to do the same against another dynamic guard, Georgetown’s Austin Freeman.
Fisher was limited to eight points on 3-for-16 shooting as Syracuse (23-6, 10-6 Big East) defeated the Wildcats 69-64 on Monday. The guard had come into the matchup leading Villanova in scoring, with more than 16 points per game. He also went 0-for-8 from beyond the arc.
“We played better defense and they missed shots,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “That will happen.”
Fisher wasn’t the only one to struggle. As a team, Villanova shot just 32 percent from the field and 5-for-26 from downtown.
It was a welcome sight for Syracuse fans, who had seen their team give up 33 3-pointers over the past three games.
“Overall, we played great defensively,” guard Brandon Triche said. “We were able to get out to the shooters.”
The Orange will play a Georgetown (21-7, 10-6) team reeling from an 58-46 loss to Cincinnati, and, more importantly, an injury to guard Chris Wright.
Wright, who is second on the team in scoring at 13.1 points per game, will not play against the Orange after suffering a broken bone in his non-shooting hand. The Hoyas hope Wright may be able to return for the NCAA Tournament.
That will put more pressure on Freeman, Georgetown’s leading scorer at 17.8 points per game.
Freeman led the Hoyas with 19 points against the Bearcats, but he got no help from anyone else, as Georgetown scored the fewest points of its season. It was only the team’s second loss in the past 11 games.
Freeman went 7-for-13 from the field, and the rest of Georgetown shot an anemic 5-for-35. Overall, the Hoyas shot 25 percent from the field and 5-for-23 from downtown.
“I just thought we were out of sync,” John Thompson III said to reporters following the game. “I thought we went through a phase where we started feeling sorry for ourselves, which we don’t need to do.”
The two teams last met earlier this season in a 64-56 win for Georgetown on Feb. 9.
Freeman’s 14 points led the way, as he scored on a layup during a 9-1 Hoya run late in the second half that clinched the win.
“We let them come to the Carrier Dome and get a win,” Scoop Jardine said. “But we’re capable of getting a win if we stick together.”
Brad Bierman contributed to this report.