long-time rival Georgetown on Saturday ..."/> long-time rival Georgetown on Saturday ..."/> long-time rival Georgetown on Saturday ..."/>

Syracuse Basketball: Key takeaways as Orange handles Hoyas on road

Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports)
Syracuse basketball (Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports) /

Syracuse basketball notched a solid victory on the road over long-time rival Georgetown on Saturday afternoon in our nation’s capital.

The Orange (7-3), winning by just one point at halftime, broke things open in the latter portion of the second half to come away with an 80-68 triumph against the Hoyas (5-4) inside the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C.

As is often the case in this storied rivalry, a large contingent of ‘Cuse fans was in the house on Saturday afternoon. Toward the end of this non-conference bruiser, you could hear chants of “Let’s go Orange,” which is always delightful to my ears.

With this result, the ‘Cuse went 2-0 over the past week. Following a blowout loss at Virginia last weekend in Charlottesville, Va., Syracuse basketball scored successes over Central New York neighbor Cornell out of the Ivy League and then, most recently, versus Big East Conference member Georgetown.

This showing in D.C. also gave first-year head coach Adrian Autry a win in his inaugural game against those pesky Hoyas. Roaming the other sideline on Saturday afternoon was Georgetown’s first-year head coach, former Providence boss Ed Cooley.

Here are my top observations as Syracuse basketball defeated Georgetown.

•Leading the Orange charge were sophomore point guard Judah Mintz, sophomore guard J.J. Starling and sophomore guard/wing Quadir Copeland. Mintz had a game-high 25 points, and he was 13-of-15 from the free-throw line. Starling was fabulous, collecting 21 points and going 3-of-3 from deep. Copeland, meanwhile, finished with 14 points. He was 6-of-7 from the field, including an ESPN SportsCenter top-10 bucket.

•Junior center Mounir Hima, who has barely played so far in the 2023-24 season, made the most of his nine minutes. He had four points, three rebounds, an assist and a block.

•Sophomore big man Maliq Brown, who started the second half at center, produced eight points on 4-of-5 shooting, along with five boards, two steals, one assist and one block.

•It was nice to see junior forward Benny Williams get some run, as he logged 11 minutes after not playing earlier in the week against Cornell. In the Georgetown encounter, he had two rebounds and an assist.

•As a unit, Syracuse basketball connected on 54 percent from the field, 45 percent from beyond the arc, and 74 percent from the charity stripe. The Hoyas, on the flip side, hit on just 42 percent from the field, an awful 19 percent from downtown, and 65 percent from the free-throw line.

•The ‘Cuse prevailed in the ever-important battle on the boards, 35-33. In other statistical victories for the Orange, Syracuse basketball led Georgetown by counts of 20-13 in points off of turnovers, 26-14 in bench points, 42-38 in paint points, 20-2 in fast-break points (astounding!), and 12-8 in steals.

•The Orange now leads its all-time series with the Hoyas, 54-45. I sincerely hope that these two programs continue to play one another in non-conference affairs.

•Up next for the ‘Cuse, Syracuse basketball will travel to Sioux Falls, S.D., to face Pac-12 Conference school Oregon. The tip-off is scheduled for 1 pm on Sunday, Dec. 17, with television coverage on the CBS Sports Network.

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