Despite flash of Lydon’s potential, Syracuse dazed by Georgetown

Howard and Syracuse struggled against Georgetown

On a day when they honored the late Pearl Washington, Syracuse could not defeat the Orange legend’s greatest rival, dropping a 78-71 game to Georgetown at the Carrier Dome. SU (6-4) jumped out to an early lead and had the advantage for most of the opening half, but fell behind early in the second session and never get even, much less take the lead.

The Hoyas (7-4) took their greatest lead of the day at seven points on a three-pointer with 2:38 remaining and put the game away at the line by making 9-of-10 from the free throw line in the final 38 seconds.

Tied at intermission, Syracuse turned in a pretty bad second half, finishing -10 in rebounding and permitting Georgetown to make half of their shots from the field. While the Orange offset that by outshooting the Hoyas after the break, after drawing within a single point late in the game, they finished by making only 3-of-8 shots before a couple uncontested scores.

SU took an early seven-point lead after posting an 8-0 run. Tyler Lydon started the streak by coaxing a short turnaround to drop, then Andrew White III banged in his second left wing three-pointer in the opening minutes. Taurean Thompson notched one free throw, then John Gillon added a pair of his own for an 11-4 lead just over five minutes in to the action.

Georgetown chopped the lead down to a deuce, but Gillon and Lydon each buried a three around a Hoya basket to give Syracuse a six-point lead again. The Orange offense cooled, though, getting only one basket in just over four minutes, allowing the guests to again get within two points.

A Frank Howard floater ended the drought, but the Hoyas hung eight straight points shortly after that to seize a 25-22 lead with just over five minutes left in the first half. John Gillon’s long stepback three knotted the score for SU and neither team led by more than two the rest of the half. Georgetown got a jumper to fall in the waning seconds of the half, sending the game to the break at 33-33.

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Lydon and DaJuan Coleman both scored in the paint in the first 65 seconds of the second half to give SU a 37-35 lead. Shortly after that though, the Hoyas hung an 8-2 run to take a lead they would never relinquish at 46-42.

The two squads swapped markers for several minutes, until Syracuse followed a free throw with a Howard steal that turned into a Gillon lay-up to pull within 53-52. Georgetown responded by pushing the lead out to four points with under seven minutes remaining. Lydon, however, wiped out most of that gap with a three from the left wing to make it a 60-59 game with 5:13 on the clock.

Two straight Hoya markers put them back in front by five, then they got a big three-pointer after a Lydon foul shot for a 67-60 lead with 2:38 to go.

The Orange offense, which had contributed three points in the previous four minutes, got a lay-up from Thompson to draw within five, then the two teams traded baskets, SU getting theirs on a Lydon follow dunk. Lydon followed that with a jump hook from the right block to draw Syracuse within 69-66 with just over a minute left.

Gillon came up with a steal, but then was called for a charge on the other end, giving the ball back to Georgetown with 48 seconds left. The Hoyas then outscored SU over the next 30 seconds, 5-1, all from the line, to go in front, 74-67, with 16 seconds to go. The remaining time did not matter.

Tyler Lydon had a career game for Syracuse, finishing with 29 points on 12-of-13 shooting from the field and nine rebounds, scoring 20 in the second half alone. John Gillon added 13 points while Andrew White III chipped in with a dozen, but they combined to shoot 7-of-25 from the floor. Taurean Thompson dropped in nine points for the Orange.

L.J. Peak and Jessie Govan each rang up a double-double for Georgetown. Peak led the team with 23 points and 11 rebounds while Govan finished with a dozen points and ten boards. Rodney Pryor dropped in 20 points for the Hoyas, including 13 after halftime.

SU will have a quick opportunity to wash out the bad taste in their mouth, as Eastern Michigan will come to the Dome on Monday night. The Eagles (6-4), who are coached by former SU assistant Rob Murphy, had a four-game win streak snapped on Saturday at Vermont, dropping an 82-74 contest.

Guards Willie Mangum IV (17.5 pts/game) and Ray Lee (17.4 pts/game) lead EMU in scoring, while 6’10” forward James Thompson IV is a double-double machine, posting 15.6 points and 12.0 rebounds per game.

Tip-off is set for 7:00pm Eastern and ESPNU will televise the game, which will also be available online at ESPN3.com.

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Jim Stechschulte

About Jim Stechschulte

A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University, Jim has reported on Syracuse sports for the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Southern California on nearly a decade, where he currently resides. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by NBA.com. Follow him on Twitter @DSafetyGuy.
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