Syracuse’s game against Georgetown Saturday afternoon had been circled on the calendar since it had been announced, but it turned out to mean even more than the SU faithful had expected. Syracuse had started off the season at a disappointing 6-3, and many (myself included) believed a win over the Hoyas could be the turning point of the season. Instead, Georgetown left Pearl Washington Day with a 78-71 win in the Carrier Dome, and Syracuse fans are more confused than ever.
Saturday’s game was both beautiful and ugly. Syracuse honored the great Pearl Washington, wore some clean throwback jerseys, and was playing Georgetown again. People were taking pictures, because the Carrier Dome looked the way it was supposed to look. People were not taking videos, though, because what happened on the court was horrendous. For every good play the Orange made there was a bad play to match; the Hoyas simply made less mistakes.
“We’re just not doing enough things right to win the game right now,” said Jim Boeheim. “We’re just not playing well at the guard spot at all.”
As usual, the Hall of Fame coach is right. Frank Howard turned the ball over six times to go with only four assists. John Gillon shot 4-14 from the field, and Andrew White was 3-11.
“I don’t have any options,” Boeheim said. “[Howard’s] gotta play better.”
Howard said after the game that correcting his struggles comes down to just being assertive.
“Getting in the lane,” Howard said. “Going downhill and putting pressure on defenses. Whenever I don’t do that, that’s when I get in trouble and we get in trouble.”
Syracuse lost by seven, but it might have been 20 if not for Tyler Lydon. The sophomore finally had his breakout game, scoring a career-high 29 on 12-13 shooting. He added nine rebounds and a pair of assists. It was the best game of his career in Orange, but Lydon wasn’t all smiles after the game.
“I just worry about whether we won or lost,” Lydon said. “My ‘career day’ or whatever you want to call it doesn’t mean much to me. We didn’t win.”
The whole day had an up-and-down feeling to it. Georgetown was in the Carrier Dome. Syracuse was honoring Pearl Washington. The crowd wanted it, craved it, needed it. But Syracuse didn’t get the win.
“We just need to take it a day at a time,” said Andrew White. “It’s early on and were bad right now.”
The Orange falls to 6-4 after the disappointing loss, while Georgetown improves to 7-4. Syracuse has a quick turnaround; the Orange hosts Eatern Michigan Monday in the Carrier Dome.