But guards Markel Starks and D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera made plain that the Hoyas are more than a one-man team. They collaborated on Georgetown’s first 16 points and finished with 19 and 15 points respectively, coming up with huge three-pointers and steals.
After taking a 25-18 lead at the half, Georgetown (24-5, 14-4) broke open the contest on 12-0 and 6-0 scoring bursts in the second half. Smith-Rivera’s third three-pointer put Georgetown up by 21 with just more than seven minutes remaining to send the crowd into a shrieking delirium.
During the timeout that followed, Ewing was honored in a midcourt ceremony as one of the top 75 players in NCAA history.
The mood and the moment were so in Georgetown’s favor, it was almost like piling on from there. Boeheim could do little more than shrug as his players struggled against the Hoyas’ withering defense, and Georgetown fans taunted them with chants of “ACC!” “ACC!”
The loss scuttled Syracuse’s hopes of securing a coveted double-bye in the Big East tournament. Marquette and Louisville both won later Saturday to earn a share of the Big East regular-season title with the Hoyas.
Held without a field goal in the first half, Porter (10 points and a game-high eight rebounds and seven assists) got the scoring going from the free throw line to start the second period. And Syracuse, which hadn’t led since 3-0, only fell further in arrears.
Afterward, Boeheim was unstinting in his praise of Georgetown’s defense, its guards and Porter, whom he declared should be the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft.
While disappointed in his team’s performance, Boeheim didn’t seem overly troubled by the margin of defeat, placing the loss in the context of a rivalry that has paid incalculable dividends over 34 years. “You don’t remember one game or two,” Boeheim said. “You remember the total package of the series. . . . This game is a blip on the radar. We’ve had more than our fair share of success. It has been an unbelievable experience for all the schools, all the players and fans.”