Washington, D.C. (Sports Network) - The final regular-season meeting between
long-time Big East Conference rivals Syracuse and Georgetown takes place on
Saturday afternoon at Verizon Center in our nation's capitol.
Syracuse comes into this regular-season finale sporting an impressive 23-7
record, and the team has won 11 of its 17 Big East bouts to tie Pittsburgh and
Notre Dame for fourth place. The Orange are fresh off a 78-57 shellacking of
DePaul on Wednesday night, which gave the team its 17th home win in 19
opportunities, but more importantly, put the brakes on a three-game slide.
Georgetown is 23-5 overall and at 13-4 in conference, it is currently
deadlocked with Louisville and Marquette atop the Big East standings. The
Hoyas seemingly had control in the race for the conference crown, but a
stunning 67-57 loss at Villanova on Wednesday night put them in the position
they're in now.
These two teams met less than two weeks ago at Carrier Dome, with the Hoyas
prevailing in a 57-46 final. Syracuse owns a 48-40 series advantage over
Georgetown, and the Hoyas have won three of the last five meetings.
Despite an off-shooting night, the Orange had little trouble getting past
DePaul earlier in the week, as James Southerland scored 22 points and grabbed
10 rebounds to lead the team in both categories. Southerland was fortunate to
convert all 11 of his free throws, as he went just 5-of-18 from the floor and
hit only one of his 10 3-point attempts. C.J. Fair tacked on 16 points,
Brandon Triche had 15 and Michael Carter-Williams finished with 10 for
Syracuse, which connected on only 38.8 percent of its total shots, missing 16
of its 18 3-point tries along the way. The team did go 24-of-31 at the foul
line, compared to just a 12-of-24 effort by the Blue Demons, who wound up
shooting a mere 37.7 percent from the floor, draining only 5-of-18 long-range
bombs in the process. They were also guilty of 18 turnovers, and the Orange
ruled the glass with a 47-38 rebounding advantage. Fair (14.6 ppg, 7.3 rpg),
Triche (14.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.7 apg), Southerland (14.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and
Carter-Williams (12.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 7.8 apg) are all averaging double digits
in scoring for a team that puts up 73.4 ppg while allowing only 59.6 ppg.
Foul trouble was the primary reason Georgetown fell at Villanova earlier this
week as the Hoyas committed 27 transgressions, allowing the Wildcats to
attempt a whopping 42 free throws, of which they converted 30. Conversely, GU
went just 4-of-8 from the charity stripe. Adding insult to injury, the Hoyas
committed an unsightly 23 turnovers, off which 'Nova scored 24 points. Both
teams shot around the same from the field (.460 for the Hoyas, .471 for the
'Cats), and Georgetown was led Otto Porter, Jr. who tallied 17 points. Porter,
Jr. is now averaging a club-best 16.6 ppg, and he also paces the unit on the
boards (7.4 rpg) and in steals (53). Markel Starks (12.2 ppg, 2.8 apg) is the
only other active double-digit scorer for the Hoyas, who generate 65.1 ppg
behind 46.1 percent success on their field goal attempts, while really
tightening the screws on defense, as they permit only 56.7 ppg, with foes
shooting a mere 37.9 percent from the floor, which includes a 30.5 percent
showing from beyond the arc.
The Sports Network