SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- A quick look at Georgetown’s 57-46 win over Syracuse on Saturday.
Overview: They did not close the Carrier Dome, but they closed the rivalry in Syracuse between the Orange and Georgetown, at least for now, and at least while both are Big East members. Not surprisingly, as is the history between these two fierce foes, this was a good one.
But the record crowd went home, just as it did at the beginning of this rivalry, unhappy. Some 23 years ago, Georgetown beat the Orange at Manley Field House, in the final game at the building, and John Thompson Jr. ignited the fuse by saying the place was officially closed.
Otto Porter turned the latch this time. He scored 33 of the Hoyas’ 57 points, destroying the Orange nearly single-handedly.
What he didn’t do, Georgetown’s defense did. It shut down Syracuse in transition, forced the Orange to rely on far too many 3-pointers and essentially took them out of the rhythm.
As is always with this game, it meant something. Georgetown is now in first place in the Big East.
Turning point: Porter (who else?) hit back-to-back 3-pointers and followed with a steal and pull-up jumper in transition. All of a sudden the Hoyas led 36-31 with 12 minutes left in what had become a close game at the end of the first half. The Orange threatened, but Porter always answered. When it got to 41-37, he sank yet another 3.
Key player: Porter. Already the favorite for Big East player of the year, the Georgetown sophomore might have just played himself onto a few All-America queues. He was everywhere for the Hoyas, scoring so easily that when he touched the ball fans audibly groaned. He finished with 33 points on 12-of-19 shooting. No one else on Georgetown had more than two made field goals.
Key stat: Aside from Porter’s shooting, it was Syracuse’s lack thereof. The Orange relied on 3-pointers far too much, even though they couldn’t connect on them. They hit only 4 of 20.
Miscellaneous: As planned, Syracuse set yet another attendance record, with 35,012 people squished in the Carrier Dome, some sitting only slightly closer than Binghamton. … The game marked the 72nd time the Dome had a crowd of 30,000 or more. … As if the atmosphere needed any more excitement, Syracuse opted to retire Carmelo Anthony’s jersey at the half. … Top sign honors to the student who made one that said, "Jim Boeheim for Pope," with the Syracuse coach dressed as the Catholic Church's leader.
Next game: No rest for the weary for either team. The Hoyas go to Connecticut on Wednesday and the Orange play at Marquette on Monday.