Just as Pittsburgh did on Wednesday night, Georgetown employed a late run to get back in the game, but this time, Syracuse was able to right their ship and hold onto a late lead, claiming a 74-69 home win. The Hoyas (3-8) trailed by 16 points early in the second half, but used a pair of runs to get within three points with just over three minutes left. The Orange (7-2) responded to the challenge by scoring six of the next seven points to maintain control.
Buddy Boeheim and Joe Girard III, who struggled in their last outing against Pitt, both found their shooting range for SU. The starting backcourt combined for 39 points, including posting 22 of Syracuse’s 31 second half points.
While he did not make much impact in the scoring column, Robert Braswell had a significant contribution on the defensive end. The redshirt sophomore had three steals and a chase down block of an attempted lay-up with the Orange hanging onto a 65-61 lead. The block was converted into a Boeheim triple, nearly doubling the SU margin at that time.
Things did not go well in the early minutes of the game for Syracuse, as Georgetown used an early 9-2 run for a five-point lead just over three minutes into the action. Three-and-a-half minutes later, the Orange ran off ten straight points to take the lead.
Quincy Guerrier started things by popping free for a three-pointer above the right break to clip the Hoya lead to 16-14. Buddy Boeheim broke free on a baseline inbounds play for a short jumper from the right baseline, then Guerrier was fouled on a three-point attempt and made each free throw. Alan Griffin closed the burst with a fadeaway jumper just below the left elbow for a 21-16 SU lead with a little over nine minutes left in the opening half.
Georgetown responded with eight straight points to go back in front, but the hosts responded with their own run, this one an 18-3 barrage that was closed with a dozen straight markers. Joe Girard III started things with a four-point play, then Guerrier followed with a jump hook.
The guests tallied a trey to tie the score, but Marek Dolezaj put Syracuse back in front with a tip-in. Girard stuck a three from the right wing and Boeheim coaxed a turnaround in the key through the net. Girard threw a nice lob for a Griffin lay-up, then Robert Braswell swished a triple that came from a step beyond the arc on the right wing for a 39-27 lead with just over three minutes to play in the opening half.
The Orange nudged their lead to 43-30 at halftime and eventually out to 50-34 less than four minutes into the second session. Georgetown responded with their first second half run, capping a 12-3 streak with seven straight points to pull within 53-46 just over four minutes later.
SU came back with the next six points, five coming from Boeheim, to go back up by 13 points. The Hoyas took command once more, outscoring the hosts over the next seven minutes, 19-9, to draw within 68-65.
On the heels of his chase down block from three minutes earlier, Braswell made a steal and Syracuse took off on a fast break, punctuating the sprint with a Boeheim-to-Griffin alley-oop. Girard capped the next Orange possession by hitting a contested jumper with his toe on the three-point line with one second left on the shot clock, stretching the lead to 72-65 with 1:11 left.
Girard then followed a Georgetown free throw with two of his own, making it a 74-66 game. The Hoyas made a three to get within five. Girard missed the front end of a one-and-one, but SU got a defensive stop. Boeheim then went to the line, but also missed the first shot in the bonus.
Georgetown came into the frontcourt, but Braswell deflected a pass that a Hoya could not control, forcing a turnover that gave Syracuse the ball with three seconds to play and a 74-69 lead.
Buddy Boeheim had 13 of his game-high 21 points in the second half for the Orange, including all three of his treys. Joe Girard III had 18 points and eight assists, connecting on 3-of-4 from deep. Quincy Guerrier nearly had a double-double, finishing with 12 points and nine rebounds. Marek Dolezaj was nearly as productive, posting 11 points and nine boards. Dolezaj also lost about half a tooth with about a minute to play after catching an accidental elbow in the mouth.
Jamorko Pickett paced the Hoyas with 17 points, nine rebounds, and three blocked shots. Jahvon Blair had a strong game, making four triples as part of his 16 points and handing out ten assists. Donald Carey added ten points while Qudus Wahab chipped in with nine.
SU’s next contest will be their first road game in a month when they travel to North Carolina for a Tuesday night matchup. The Tar Heels (7-4, 2-2) have won their last two games, both in ACC play, but had their Saturday game against #19 Clemson postponed.
UNC comes at their opponents in waves, as eight players average at least 14.5 minutes per game with six of them scoring between 7.7 and 11.0 points per contest. Forwards Armando Bacot, Garrison Brooks, and Day’Ron Sharpe all stand over 6’10” and combine for 31.0 points and 23.6 rebounds per game.
The ACC Network will televise the game, which will tip off at 9:00pm Eastern on Tuesday.