Georgetown and Syracuse renewed its historic rivalry on Saturday at the Capital One Arena. For much of the contest it appeared Georgetown was set to debunk all the criticism of their soft non-conference schedule, as they controlled the pace. They built a 13-point lead at 53-40 with 10:48 remaining in the second half. But, miscues and inability to overcome Syracuse’s full-court press allowed a victory to slip from out of their hands, as Syracuse rallied to win 86-79 in overtime.
1. Georgetown Lost without Marcus Derrickson
There were multiple reasons Syracuse was able to rally from 13 points behind. One of those factors was the loss of forward Marcus Derrickson in the second half. Derrickson fouled out with 5:15 remaining in regulation. The Hoyas were nursing a 64-57 lead.
Syracuse had slowly gained momentum by the time but Derrickson’s excellent play was holding off any rally. He made a layup with 5:36 remaining to put the Hoyas up 64-55. But then he picked up his fourth foul on the ensuing possession. After Syracuse got two free throws from Tyus Battle, Derrickson picked up his fifth and final foul on a charge on the ensuing possession.
Two fouls on back-to-back possessions crippled the Hoyas. Georgetown made just one field goal the remaining 5:15 on regulation — a Jamorko Pickett jumper. Without one-half of its frontcourt duo, Georgetown was outscored 12-5 during the closing moments of regulation as Syracuse tied the game at 69-all to send into overtime.
Hoyas had to go another five minutes without Derrickson. Syracuse outscored the Hoyas 29-15 over the course of 10:15. Derrickson finished the game 14 points and eight rebounds.
2. Georgetown Dared Syracuse to Hit Threes, and They Did
Georgetown adjusted throughout the game, including going into a zone of its own. The concept was an intelligent one for first-year head coach Patrick Ewing and his staff. Syracuse entered Saturday’s game struggling to shoot from three-point range, shooting 28.5 percent — last in the ACC.
But, the Hoyas daring for Syracuse to shoot the three eventually backfired. Syracuse struggled in the first half but eventually caught fire from downtown in the second half. The Orange made 8 of its last 13 treys to finish 10-of-23 (43.5 percent — well above their season average). Tyus Battle (6-of-11) and Oshae Brissett (4-of-7) combined all 10 of Syracuse’s made threes.
In comparison, Georgetown shot 2-of-17 from three. Both were byproducts of Syracuse’s full-court press in the second half.
When the Orange did miss, they were collecting the rebounds, as the Hoyas were stretched out in their zone. Syracuse came away with 19 offensive rebounds. Hard to win any games when a team is a minus-24 from three and hammered for 19 offensive boards even if you had a lead of 13.
3. Not So Soft after All
Syracuse was Georgetown’s first top-200 ranked teams according to KenPom. Georgetown’s non-conference schedule was under scrutiny after they jumped out to an 8-0 record with wins over seven teams ranked 301st or lower. Their only top-300 win was against Richmond, who entered Saturday No. 219.
But, those concerns quickly were put to rest momentarily as the Hoyas looked the part for much of the game. No, they ultimately lost and that’s the bottom line. However, Georgetown proved they have the talent and ability to play with just about anyone. As their Big East schedule is right around the corner, Georgetown left Saturday’s loss with more confidence than they had entering. Lookout Big East.