A 12-2 Georgetown run at the end of the first half propelled the Hoyas to a 89-79 win over Syracuse at the Capital One Center in Washington, DC. The Hoyas run came directly after a moving screen call on Dolezaj as Hughes hit a would-be three. Besides that crucial sequence, these are four reasons SU lost to its most bitter rival.
1. Interior Dominance
You can add Omer Yurtseven’s name to the growing list of bigs who have dominated Syracuse down low. The NC State transfer had a tough first-half from the floor, but got it rolling in the second half on his way to 19 points. Yurtseven’s rebounding presence was felt throughout. Five of his nine offensive rebounds were offensive. Bourama Sidibe countered with just two points. And Yurtseven routinely helped off the Syracuse big to disrupt the driving lane.
“You don’t isolate it like that, but we gotta get something out of (the center) position.”
2. Free Throw Disparity
For whatever reason, Syracuse could not get to the line. Were they not attacking? It’s hard to make that claim when you consider 26-22 advantage in points in the paint. After the first 20 minutes, Georgetown was 15-19 from the charity stripe. Syracuse was 1-3. The second half was less drastic, but the Hoyas still ended the game with a 24-5 advantage in points off free throws.
3. Halfway There
18 first-half points for Elijah Hughes. 25 second-half points for Buddy Boeheim. Both of those things are good, in itself. But both of SU’s top scorers played 20-minute games. Boeheim was a goose egg in the first half. Hughes managed just three points in the second half, as Georgetown keyed in on the redshirt junior.
“They were focusing on him a lot more in the second half,” Buddy said. “when teams start to focus on him more, that’s when I’m gonna get my looks. It’s similar to last year with Tyus.”
At the end of the day, the offense did enough to win the game, but if we’re nitpicking, a more balanced 40 minutes from Hughes and Boeheim could have saved the Orange from its 5th loss of the season.
4. The Zone
Georgetown got too many open looks throughout. They shot 11-25 from three. Syracuse hung around with a 43-point first half, but every time the Orange made it tight, Georgetown responded with an offensive play.
“We really just couldn’t get stops on the other end when we needed to,” Boeheim put it bluntly.