Monday, February 7, 2011

Georgetown glides to Syracuse looking to extend to a 7 game winning streak



I guess this is one Big East game everyone has been waiting for so far this season.  The Georgetown vs. Syracuse game that is.  I do remember all three of last season's game with the Orange.  I do know one thing, it's a classic, but it seems in this league we always have classic game's against different teams, Villanova, St. John's and of course Syracuse to be exact.  I still think Syracuse is our biggest rivalry by a good margin.  It's been like this for years and it only gets better each season when both the Hoyas and Orangemen meet.

The #11 Hoyas (18-5  7-4) and the #12 Orangemen (20-4  7-4) have the same Big East record.  With both teams having met three times in 2010, they will meet again a year later on Wednesday night.  Syracuse won the first two battles at home and away.  The first meeting was at the Dome in Syracuse, New York.  With Georgetown up 14-0 in the first three minutes the Orangemen rallied to take the lead before the break, and started the second half with an 18-8 surge to take command.
"We recovered from the worst start I can remember," Boeheim said.  "Our defense picked up and our offense got going.  To go into halftime ahead was really unbelievable.  To dominate a top-10 team after giving them 14 points is quite an effort.  That's as good as we can play.  Everybody was looking for each other."

"No game is ever won in the first three minutes," Joseph said.  "We knew we had a shot at coming back and winning.  I thought, 'This is crazy, all 3s, all jumpers, nothing inside.  Once the fans started getting into it, it was a lot better."  Syracuse won 73-56.  At the time they were (7-1 BE), a much better team that they are now, but none of that matters because it's will be a new day, and one thing for sure, it's the Big East!

The second meeting of the 2010 season between the two teams was played in D.C.  The Hoyas played much better in the second half of this game only losing by 4.  Syracuse was ranked #5 and Georgetown was ranked at #10.  This time in the first half it was the other way around for the Hoyas.  The Orange led by 11 before the game was 4 minutes old, by 16 late in the first half and 60-37 with 12:37 left.  What happened the rest of the way will forever be part of this rivalry's lore. The result: a stunning comeback that wasn't thwarted until the game's final seconds.

"You knew they were going to come back, and I think the reason they did is we just stopped scoring," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said.  "You can never stop scoring, especially on the road. I thought that was the difference."

First, came a 10-0 run by the Hoyas.  Georgetown closed to 71-70 with 1:10 remaining and had a chance to take the lead, but a shot by Jason Clark bounced off the rim.  Kris Joseph then scored on a drive for the Orange with 8.4 seconds left, and after a free throw by Clark, Rautins sealed the win with two foul shots.  The Orange won 75-71.

"After a loss there is nothing but misery and pain, but I'm proud of how our guys responded," Hoyas coach John Thompson III said.  "In no way does this program, this team, believe in moral victories. But I'm just proud of our guys."  Then, in deference to Syracuse, which completed a regular-season sweep, Thompson added, "That is a very good team that played very well tonight. We dug a hole for ourselves and fought and had a shot to win, but that's the way the ball bounces."

"It's a little rough to take right now because we came all the way back and we came up short," Wright said.

Frustrated by a tight Syracuse zone defense, the Hoyas went 9 of 29 (31 percent) from the field in the first half.  In the two teams final quest that happened to be in the semifinals of the 2010 Big East Tourament the game panned out differently especially in the second-half with the mighty Hoyas figuring out a way penetrate and open the tight Syracuse zone defense.  I watched this game on TV and I saw a totally different game in the second-half from the Hoyas. 

I saw holes in the defense because Syracuse had their hands up, so I knew if the guards kept their dribble nice and low, shift the ball around the perimeter, they could attack the Orangmen's zone from different angles, but the guards would have to have the heart and courage to penetrate the zone defense and have options of shooting mid-rangers, dishing to the big, making layup or kick it out to open man on the perimeter.  They did!   This made all the difference in the world for the Hoyas.  They won their Big East quarterfinal game 91-84 against the Orangemen in payback fashion from the season's two previous losses to advance to the 2010 Big East semifinal game.  "I thought our guys did a pretty good job -- very good job, actually -- of just trying to hunt and peck and make the right decisions against their zone," said Georgetown coach John Thompson III, whose famous father sat a couple of rows behind his former team's bench.By the guards getting inside or getting the ball inside would benefit the Hoyas a great deal as part of the game plan.  Why?  It'll break the zone apart and get the bigs in foul trouble.  If I were a point guard/guard I would attack the big early to get them in early foul trouble and get Cuse in the bonus and take the first half like and the second half as well.  I guess you could say I would do this for any other team.  I think the name of the game is penetrate/attack the bigs and get them in early foul trouble and go from there.  That's my gameplan every game as point guard/guards.

This game will no different from any of the games the two teams have ever played against each other.  This game will definitely be another great Big East classic for the the mighty Hoyas and the Orangemen.  The Hoyas are coming off of a six game winning streak and Syracuse have won their last two games on the road against UConn and South Florida.  Before those two wins, the Orangemen had lost 4 in a row, but bounced back in dramatic fashion and have some confidence and momentum, but I think the Hoyas are ready to "Rock Steady!"  The rivalry continues!





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