For the second straight game, #14 Syracuse showed what happened when they have trouble shooting from deep. The Orange hit only 7-of-27 three-pointers in the revival of their feud with Georgetown and lost Saturday afternoon on the road, 79-72, in a game not nearly as close as its final score.
The two teams were even for the first four minutes, then the Hoyas jumped all over SU (6-2), eventually using a run of 13 straight points between the two halves to push their lead to 20 points in the opening minutes the second half. Georgetown (4-3) would lead by as many as 21 before Syracuse clawed back into the game. “Clawing back into the game” in this case, however, means the Orange got within nine points with under 6:30 to go, but never actually threatened the lead.
Not only did SU have problems scoring, they also had difficulty stopping the Hoyas, who shot 48.1 percent from the floor.
After a pair of Tyler Roberson foul shots tied the score at eight points a side coming out of the first media timeout of the day, Georgetown took off on a roll. In a span of nearly ten minutes, Syracuse could only muster a pair of lay-ups while the Hoyas rolled up 18 points to grab a 26-12 lead.
Trevor Cooney snapped the hosts’ dominance with a three-pointer, then, after a Hoya score, fed Roberson for a lay-in. Roberson kept things going for the Orange by tacking on two foul shots to make it a nine-point game.
After a Georgetown three, Roberson dunked on the business end of a pick-and-roll with Michael Gbinije. Roberson then deflected a pass on defense, leading to an SU fast break capped by a Gbinije three that drew Syracuse within 31-24 with a little over two minutes left in the opening half.
The Hoyas responded with the final five points of the half to lead by a dozen at the break. Georgetown kept it up after intermission, holding the Orange without a score for three minutes while rolling up eight more points for a 44-24 lead. A three-point play on the next trip nudged the Hoya lead to its greatest point at 21.
SU would hang around, eventually using a burst of seven straight points to shave the margin down to 12 points. Cooney splashed a deep triple off the left wing to start the run. Gbinije converted an offensive rebound into two more points and Roberson tapped a missed lay-up home to make it 58-46 in favor of Georgetown with just over nine minutes left.
A couple minutes later, Cooney stuck another three to draw Syracuse within 65-56 and a couple minutes after that, Coleman cleaned up his own miss to make it an eight-point game.
The Hoyas would not give up the lead, though, strengthening their grip to a dozen points. Six hurried points in under 20 seconds brought the Orange within 74-68 with 32 seconds to play. Georgetown, however, responded with four free throws and SU’s comeback hopes were through.
For the second straight outing, Michael Gbinije topped all scorers, this time posting 23 points, including 16 after intermission, and hit three triples. Tyler Roberson had 15 points for SU and also grabbed a team-leading ten rebounds. Trevor Cooney connected thrice from deep on his way to 11 points and DaJuan Coleman chipped in a season-best ten points.
Center Bradley Hayes had his way in the paint, leading the Hoyas with 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Isaac Copeland backed him with 14 points while Marcus Derrickson had 13 points and snagged a game-high ten rebounds for a double-double. Leading scorer D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera chipped in 11 points while Reggie Cameron added nine.
SU returns home to lock horns with Colgate on Tuesday night. The Red Raiders (2-5) have dropped their last four road games, including their last two overall. Colgate plays a very deep bench, as 11 players average more than ten minutes a game on the season.
The action will get underway at 7:00pm Eastern with ESPNU handling the television duties. The game will also be available at ESPN3.com.