Georgetown tops ‘Cuse for share of Big East title in rivalry-ending game
Syracuse, NY, United States (4E Sports) – The Georgetown Hoyas closed out its Big East rivalry against the Syracuse Orange with a 61-39 victory.
The win gave Georgetown (24-5, 14-4) a share of the Big East regular-season title with Marquette and Louisville, who each won later Saturday. The Hoyas will be the No. 1 seed at the Big East tournament next week in New York.
With Syracuse focusing its defense on national Player of the Year candidate Otto Porter, Markel Starks scored 19, and freshman D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera had 15 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Hoyas.
The 6-8 Porter, who didn’t make a field goal until the second half, finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
He didn’t even try to shoot a field-goal until 7:46 was left in the half, missing a 3-pointer from the corner.
His only points in the first half came on a pair of free throws with 23.9 seconds left that gave Georgetown its biggest lead until then, 25-18.
But the top 2013 NBA draft prospect made his presence felt in other ways at both ends of the court.
Porter put on a clinic of how to beat a zone: flash from the baseline to the high-post, turn and face the basket, knock down a 15 foot jumper if left open or kick it out to the open shooter if the defense collapses.
He said he is extremely confident of his team’s sharp-shooting back court of Starks and Smith-Rivera. “The whole game, I was just trying to get open looks for them, put pressure on the defense with me in the middle, making everything else open up.”
Georgetown held No. 17 Syracuse to its lowest scoring total in 558 Big East games — and its fewest points in any game since a 36-35 victory over Kent State on Dec. 1, 1962, back before shot clocks and 3-pointers. It also was the series’ biggest margin since Georgetown beat Syracuse by 27 in 1985.
The massive changes in the conference emphatically ends the rivalry against Syracuse.
This regular-season finale was the schools’ 89th meeting overall the last time they will face each other in the regular season as Big East foes, with Syracuse leading 48-41.
“It’s been an unbelievable rivalry, and you don’t remember one game or two, you remember the total package,” Syracuse coach Boeheim said.
“It’s special because the Big East, as we have known it, is ending,” Thompson III said. “Georgetown won the first one, and now Georgetown’s won the last. So that means a lot.”
The Hoyas have won 12 of their past 13 games, including two wins against Syracuse; Porter scored 33 in a victory at the Carrier Dome on Feb. 23. It’s the Hoyas’ first two-game sweep of a season series over the Orange since 2001-02.
Syracuse (23-8, 11-7), was led by Michael Carter-Williams’ 17 points. But the Orange shot only 32 percent from the field, including 1 for 11 on 3-point tries, and lost for the fourth time in their past five games.
Syracuse is heading to the Atlantic Coast Conference, and Georgetown is one of seven schools splitting away to form a basketball-centric league that will keep the Big East name.
By game’s end, Hoyas supporters were taunting the Orange with chants of “A-C-C!” Among the announced attendance of 20,972 — the largest crowd at a Georgetown home game — were members of Georgetown’s past who helped turned games against Syracuse into events, including Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning.