No. 7 Georgetown falls to No. 4 Syracuse, 73-56

By Liz Clarke
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- On the same day the Georgetown Hoyas stormed into the nation's top 10, they got stomped by Syracuse, 73-56, in the latest installment of the Big East's most heated rivalry.

Monday's game at the Carrier Dome marked the first time in 20 years that both teams have boasted top-10 rankings when they met, with Syracuse No. 4 and Georgetown No. 7. And both were riding a wave of well-deserved acclaim: Syracuse, off to a 19-1 start; Georgetown, coming off its biggest victory of the season, having toppled ninth-ranked Pittsburgh six days earlier.

But the outcome, to the delight of a deafening crowd of 26,508, revealed there is a considerable gulf between this season's edition of the familiar foes -- particularly in athleticism, defensive intensity and depth.

Georgetown (15-4, 6-3 Big East) bolted to a dazzling start, taking a 14-0 lead on the three-point heroics of guards Austin Freeman and Jason Clark -- the only Hoyas to manage double figures, finishing with 23 and 15 points, respectively.

But Syracuse (20-1, 7-1) erased that lead by closing the first half on an 11-0 run and extended its lead as the game ground on, steamrolling to a 17-point victory.

After quickly doing the math in his head, Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim didn't bother hiding his satisfaction. "That's a 31-point turnaround," Boeheim said. "That's pretty good."

Georgetown Coach John Thompson III hailed Syracuse as "a really good team" but added that the Orange hadn't met the Hoyas at their best.

"We had one of, if not our worst game of the year," Thompson said. "And you can't come up here and do that against this team."

Georgetown did not make any of its players available for postgame interviews. Asked why not, a university spokesman said that it had been "a tough loss."

Boeheim used his vaunted zone defense to great effect throughout, denying Georgetown easy access to the basket and its sophomore center Greg Monroe, who was reduced to an error-prone after-thought.

Monroe fouled out with 6 minutes 27 seconds remaining, his eight points undercut by six turnovers.

At that point, Syracuse led 59-45.

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