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Georgetown 57, Syracuse 46

The SportsXchange

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- In 1980, coach John Thompson Jr. and the Georgetown Hoyas officially closed Manley Field House, where the Syracuse University men's basketball team used to play.

On Saturday, the Hoyas and Thompson's son, coach John Thompson III, repeated history by officially closing the Syracuse half of the Georgetown-Syracuse Big East Conference rivalry.

With an NCAA-record crowd of 35,012 looking on at Carrier Dome, the No. 11 Hoyas defeated the No. 8 Orange 57-46 Saturday afternoon in the final Big East game between the two longtime rivals in Syracuse.

They'll play again March 9 at Georgetown in their final regular-season game as Big East foes before the Orange moves to the Atlantic Coast Conference next season.

Big East Player of the Year candidate Otto Porter scored 33 points Saturday on 12-for-19 shooting, including 5-for-10 from 3-point range.

D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera was Georgetown's next-highest scorer, with seven points, as all of the other Hoyas besides Porter shot 20 percent (7-for-35) from the floor.

On Feb. 13, 1980, after Georgetown defeated Syracuse 52-50 to snap the Orange's 57-game home winning streak in the final game at Manley Field House, Thompson Jr. kindled one of the fiercest rivalries in college sports by declaring "Manley Field House is officially closed!" The comment incited Syracuse fans and rallied the Hoyas, who celebrated in the locker room that night by repeatedly chanting the phrase.

More than 33 years later, the Hoyas snapped Syracuse's 38-game Carrier Dome winning streak, which was the longest in the nation and a Dome record.

Saturday's crowd broke the previous NCAA record of 34,616 set at Carrier Dome on Feb. 27, 2010, when the Orange defeated Villanova 95-77. Saturday's game sold out on Tuesday.

Georgetown, which has won 11 of its last 12 games, improved to 21-4 overall and 11-3 in the Big East. The Hoyas are in first place in the conference with four games remaining.

Syracuse (22-5, 10-4) faces another prime-time showdown Monday at Marquette, which was 10-3 in the Big East entering Saturday night's game at Villanova.

Syracuse added to Saturday's hoopla by retiring Carmelo Anthony's No. 15 jersey during a halftime ceremony. Anthony, now one of the NBA's top stars with the New York Knicks, was at the game and joined by several of his former Syracuse teammates from the 2003 national championship team.

With the score tied at 29 early in the second half, the Hoyas went on a 10-2 run to take a 39-31 lead. Porter sank two 3-pointers and Smith-Rivera added one during that spurt as Georgetown built its biggest lead of the game.

The Orange started to press, and C.J. Fair stole the ball and fed it to Michael Carter-Williams for a dunk that sliced the Hoyas' lead to 41-37. But Brandon Triche fouled Porter on a made 3-pointer, and Porter completed the four-point play to boost the Hoyas' lead back to 45-37.

The Orange closed the first half on an 8-0 run to take a 23-21 lead at intermission. Carter-Williams' steal and three-point play started the run, and James Southerland finished it with a 3-pointer.

Trailing 12-4, the Hoyas went on a 17-3 tear to build a 21-15 lead. Porter, who entered the game averaging 15.1 points, scored 12 points in that run and 16 of Georgetown's 21 first-half points.

Neither team shot well in the first half. The Orange shot 31 percent (9-for-29), while the Hoyas made just 23 percent (7-for-30). The Georgetown players other than Porter hit only 1 of 20 shots in the first half.

NOTES: There have now been 72 Syracuse basketball games at the Dome with a crowd of more than 30,000, and Georgetown has been the opponent for 17 of those games. The schools with next highest number of games at the Dome with attendance over 30,000 are Connecticut, St. John's and Villanova, with seven apiece). ... The Orange is 48-24 when playing in front of crowds of more than 30,000 at the Dome. ... The series between Syracuse and Georgetown now stands at 48-40 in favor of the Orange. ... Entering Saturday's games, Georgetown's Porter and Syracuse's Fair were the only players in the Big East who ranked in the top 10 in both scoring and rebounding.

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