No. 13 Georgetown beats No. 8 Syracuse 88-74
WASHINGTON (AP)—DaJuan Summers hit a 3-pointer on Georgetown’s first shot of the game, and the Hoyas didn’t miss many more after that.
No. 13 Georgetown had its best 3-point shooting game of the season, going 12-for-21 in an 88-74 victory over No. 8 Syracuse on Wednesday night.
Summers led Georgetown with 21 points, and Austin Freeman, who added 19, led the way from behind the arc, going 4-of-5 from beyond the arc.
“Everybody was knocking down shots. We were looking for each other, and when teammates were open they knocked down shots,” Freeman said. “We just looked at each other, and said, ‘Let’s go.”’
The Hoyas (12-3, 3-2 Big East) had focused on jump shots in practice leading up to the game, knowing they’d face the Orange’s zone defense. Georgetown’s shooters did so well, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim switched from the zone to man-to-man in an attempt to slow down the Hoyas.
“We gave them open looks, and they knocked them down,” Boeheim said. “We played equally bad in both defenses.”
Eric Devendorf had 20 points and four 3-pointers for the Orange (16-2, 4-1), who had won seven straight, while Rick Jackson had 17 points and Paul Harris added 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Georgetown started quickly, following Summer’s opening 3 by taking a 10-2 lead. But the Hoyas really got hot midway through the first half, taking over the game with a 21-4 run that gave them a 37-18 lead with about 4 1/2 minutes left in the half.
The run was sparked by two 3-pointers by sophomore Nikita Mescheriakov, who had only two field goals all season entering the game. Mescheriakov’s first 3 was answered by Syracuse’s Jonny Flynn, but he immediately followed with another from the top of the key.
“Nikita comes in, and he’s been a little bit of a deer in headlights,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. “I said, ‘Let’s just throw him in there,’ and he bangs two shots in a row.”’
That basket started a string of 14 straight points by Georgetown, including thunderous dunks by Summers and Henry Sims.
Meschariakov’s first 3-pointer started a more than 9-minute stretch where Georgetown did not miss a field goal, making 11 straight shots, including a four-point play by Freeman that gave the Hoyas their biggest lead of the game, 47-26, with 2 minutes left in the first half.
At that point, Summers had one thought in mind.
“Keep going, stay aggressive, because that lead can dwindle away as fast as you got it,” Summers said. “I think everybody knows not to get comfortable when you look at the scoreboard and see that many points.”
Syracuse did quickly cut into the 21-point lead.
The Orange scored the first eight points of the second half and made it 53-45 on a dunk by Jackson with a little more than 15 minutes left in the game. That was the only time in the second half Syracuse would get within single digits, as Georgetown stopped the rally when Summers hit another 3-pointer.
“We got in such a hole, obviously it was going to be difficult to get out,” Boeheim said.
The 88 points were the most Georgetown has scored against a Big East team under Thompson, and 29 came from nonstarters. Along with Mescheriakov, who scored his six points in just 2 minutes, freshman Jason Clark scored a career-high 12 points.
Andy Rautins, who had been Syracuse’s leading scorer in Big East play, was held scoreless and did not play in the second half after hurting his knee.
“We don’t know what will happen,” Boeheim said of the guard who missed last season with a knee injury. “We think he’ll be all right, but we don’t know. He’s got a bad bruise or sprain or something.”
Summers picked up a technical foul late in the first half when he reacted to an intentional foul by Syracuse’s Kristof Ongenaet. Thompson picked up his own technical in the second half.
“Me and Coach, we always talk about keeping our head,” Summers said. “He tells me that more than I have to tell him that, clearly.”
Beyond that, there were almost no negatives for the Hoyas.
“Everyone was very good today,” Thompson said.