Syracuse turns slow start into easy finish against Georgetown

Dec 10, 2022; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Judah Mintz (3) controls the ball as Georgetown Hoyas guard Brandon Murray (0) defends during the first half at the JMA Wireless Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

After the first six minutes of action, Syracuse climbed out of an 11-point hole to grab an 83-64 home win over longtime rival Georgetown. The Hoyas (5-6) jumped out to a quick 17-6 lead as the Orange (6-4) could not slow them down in the opening minutes, but the hosts grabbed the lead for good just over four minutes before the half.

A Mounir Hima dunk gave SU a 31-30 lead and simultaneously started a 16-2 run that gave them their own double-figure lead. Judah Mintz had three points and a couple assists to get the run going, both helpers setting up three-pointers from Chris Bell and Joe Girard III. Girard’s was part of a four-point-play and gave Syracuse that double-digit lead.

That run capped an opening half where the Orange struggled early on offense, but finished the session shooting 58.6 percent from the field. SU started 2-for-8 from the field, but connected on 15 of their last 21 shots of the half and finished the game making half of their shots.

Georgetown was on opposite path, making 7-of-10 from the floor in building their early 17-6 advantage. The Syracuse defense started playing better in tandem with their offense and held the Hoyas to 15-of-49 field goals (30.6 percent) for the rest of the day.

The Orange snapped out of their early offensive funk with a dozen straight points to grab their first lead of the game. Jesse Edwards and Girard each had four points in the spree with the guard’s jump shots nudging SU out in front at 18-17 just past the midpoint of the opening session.

The two Syracuse runs staked them to a 45-34 halftime lead and they had the first salvo of the second half with five points to extend their lead to 16. The Hoyas came back with ten of the next 12 points to halve that margin at 52-44. Six more points for the Orange seemed to put them back in control, but their offense went into the cooler and guests pulled within seven points with just over six minutes to play.

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SU responded by scoring on their next four possessions, running off seven straight points capped by a lay-up and a dunk from Benny Williams. The two scores extended the Syracuse lead to 71-57 and forced a Georgetown time out. The Hoyas trimmed the margin to ten, but the Orange closed game with a 12-3 finishing kick punctuated by a Girard three-pointer.

Every SU starter finished with at least eight points, led by Edwards’ 20. The center also collected 11 rebounds and five blocked shots. Mintz made 10-of-11 at the free throw line as he also posted a double-double with 16 points and ten assists, adding five steals for good measure. Girard had 15 points while Williams added 13.

Primo Spears paced the guests with a game-high 22 points while Jay Heath connected from long distance three times en route to 14 points. Qudus Wahab posted a ten-point, 11-board double-double while Akok Akok and Brandon Murray each chipped in with eight markers.

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About Jim Stechschulte 894 Articles
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. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by He currently resides in Syracuse.