With Syracuse’s offense bogging down, Scoop Jardine stepped up.
Jardine scored 17 points and added eight assists with only one turnover as No. 20 Syracuse downed No. 11 Georgetown, 58-51. SU has won four straight and is now tied for fourth place in the Big East with Louisville.
“We’re getting better at the right time,” Jardine said. “You want to play your best basketball around this time. We’re doing that right now.”
The Orange (24-6, 11-6 Big East), which had a 12-point lead early in the second half, found itself up only three points with 28 seconds left. But Jason Clark had his potential game-tying 3 blocked by Joseph, and Brandon Triche grabbed the loose ball and was fouled.
Triche would hit four free throws in the final 23 seconds as Syracuse avenged a 64-56 loss to Georgetown (21-8, 10-7) on Feb. 9.
Freeman led the Hoyas with 16 points while Clark added 11 for the Hoyas, who have lost three of their past four after winning eight straight games.
Rick Jackson scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and James Southerland chipped in nine points for the Orange. It was Southerland’s highest-scoring game since he had 12 points in Syracuse’s 70-58 win over Notre Dame on Jan. 1.
“When I’m shooting the ball well, I’m a threat out there,” Southerland said.
But Syracuse wouldn’t have been in that position had it not been for Jardine. SU, which led for most of the afternoon, lost the lead after Nate Lubick’s layup gave Georgetown a 45-43 lead. That capped a 10-3 Hoya run with 10 minutes left in the game.
That’s when Jardine took over.
The junior guard immediately responded with a layup in transition to tie the game. Several plays after that, with the shot clock winding down and the Orange only up one, Jardine hit a difficult turnaround jumper while flanked by Clark.
His 3-pointer on the following play was part of a 11-1 run that gave SU a 54-46 with 3:58 left.
“They were tough plays,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “They were ‘no, no, no, yes’ plays. That was the difference in the game.”
The Orange defense was active again Saturday, as Syracuse held the Hoyas to 34 percent shooting from the field, and 7-for-25 shooting from beyond the arc. Part of the reason was Georgetown guard Chris Wright didn’t play after he broke his hand in Georgetown’s 58-46 loss to Cincinnati on Wednesday.
Regardless, it was the second-straight solid outing for Syracuse, which also held Villanova to 32 percent from the field and 5-for-26 from 3-point land in a 69-64 win Monday.
“The biggest difference tonight, we found their shooters,” Boeheim said. “In Syracuse, we left them three or four times just wide open. They got a couple today, but not wide open looks.”
Brad Bierman contributed to this report.
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