“I thought in the first half, both teams struggled shooting, scoring. I thought we had some pretty good shots that we didn’t make. In the second half, I thought our defense slipped a little bit and we didn’t make shots, but I thought [Otto] Porter was so good today that he just dominated the game. We had a couple of situations with defensive breakdowns — we didn’t find him, but he had a tremendous game. He really won the game.
Offensively, the games we have lost, we have struggled shooting the basketball and today is no exception. I just thought the game got away from us early and I thought we had an opportunity. We had some open looks and I thought we took a couple of long three’s when we could have taken better three’s. Offensively, we just couldn’t play well enough and that’s been something that’s been hardest in our losses, shooting the basketball.
I thought Georgetown played a tremendous defensive game and I thought [Otto] Porter was clearly a difference in the game.” -Jim Boeheim following Syracuse’s loss to Georgetown.
Well at least yesterday is over.
Otto Porter had a career night in front of 35,012 fans in the Carrier Dome in Syracuse’s frustrating 57-46 loss to the hated Georgetown Hoyas. The 46 point output from the Orange is the lowest in the history of the Dome, and the loss drops Syracuse out of first place in the Big East.
Despite playing absolutely atrocious offensively, the Orange somehow managed and 8-0 run at the end of the half to give them a 23-21 lead at intermission. The Hoyas then rode the coat tail of Porter in the second half, pulling away from Syracuse on a 10-2 run with about eleven minutes remaining.
No Hoya player scored more than 7 points aside from Porter’s 33. The Otto who isn’t the Orange went 12 of 19 shooting, with numerous daggers throughout the evening, including a 4 point play in the second half when the Orange had gained a little momentum coming from behind.
With Syracuse shooting just 34 percent from the field, that was enough for Georgetown to hold on and end the nations longest home winning streak at 38 games. The Orange committed 16 turnovers, and dished out just six assists. CJ Fair played a good game for Syracuse, scoring 13 points while blocking 3 shots and grabbing 7 rebounds.
The lone bright spot of the evening was the retiring of Carmelo Anthony’s jersey to the rafters of the Dome at halftime. Anthony gave a terrific speech, showing his love for Syracuse and his humbleness to get his jersey retired in front of the Orange faithful. Fellow national champions Josh Pace, Craig Forth, and Matt Gorman were also on hand for the ceremony. Anthony’s jersey now joins the likes of Dave Bing, Derrick Coleman, Sherman Douglas, Vic Hanson, Billy Gabor, Wilmeth Sidat-Singh, Rony Seikaly, Billy Owens, and pearl Washington.
I think it goes without saying that Monday’s game at Marquette is a must-win for this team. Syracuse can still control their own destiny, with games against Marquette, Louisville, DePaul, and a game at Georgetown to end the regular season. It is an extremely tough stretch of games, but the Orange have the talent to pull through if they can fix their game offensively. If you don’t believe me just ask CJ Fair:
“Marquette is a tough team. We have to be ready to play. They’re one of the top teams in the BIG EAST so we have to come ready to play. We can not afford to lose any more games.”
The turnaround from this terrible game is short, and maybe that is a good thing. With the Orange already en route to Wisconsin for the game against Marquette Monday night, the team doesn’t have the time to think about this loss and will hopefully move on to the next game with ease. The team knows the stakes of this game and the Louisville game Saturday, and it will be interesting to see how they respond. If the Orange want to exit the Big East with their second consecutive conference championship, it is going to take some great basketball and some wins, something this team is more than capable of.