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Otto Porter’s career high gives Hoyas win at Syracuse
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Georgetown coach John Thompson III wouldn’t bite. He wasn’t about to say: “This Carrier Dome rivalry is officially over.”
He sure could have.
Porter scored a career-high 33 points as the 11th-ranked Hoyas humbled No. 8 Syracuse 57-46 on Saturday.
It was the final game between Georgetown (21-4, 11-3 Big East) and Syracuse (22-5, 10-4) in the Carrier Dome as members of the same conference — the Orange are leaving the Big East in July to join the Atlantic Coast Conference.
“I’m sure you’re waiting for a Manley Field House statement,” Thompson said with a smile. “You’re not going to get it. We don’t get frazzled too much. It’s good to win here. We were the last team to win here, but there’s still a lot of ball to play. It’s one win.”
The victory placed an emphatic stamp on the impending end of an era before an imposing Orange crowd. It snapped the Orange’s 38-game home winning streak, the longest in the nation, and came 33 years after John Thompson Jr.’s Hoyas halted the Orange’s 57-game home winning streak at Manley. Both streaks were school records in the respective buildings.
Porter’s incredible play — open more often than not against Syracuse’s 2-3 zone, he was 12 of 19, including five 3-pointers, and had a game-high five steals — came in front of a disappointed record crowd of 35,012, the largest ever to see a college basketball on a school campus. It was the fewest points scored at home by Syracuse in the Carrier Dome, which opened in 1980.
“Porter was so good today,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “He just dominated the game. He really won the game. He had to make plays and made them all day. Offensively, the games that we have lost we have struggled shooting the basketball, and today was no exception. I thought the game got away from us early.”
Georgetown has held opponents under 60 points 17 times, allowing 56.1 points per game, with 11 of last 12 opponents shooting below 40 percent. Syracuse joined the list, shooting 17 of 50 (34 percent) and going 5 of 20 on 3-pointers.
“He (Porter) obviously had a great game, a great shooting game,” said Syracuse senior guard Brandon Triche, who struggled in a 4-of-13 shooting performance, making just 1 of 7 from behind the arc. “We didn’t take anything away. We didn’t take his drive away. We didn’t take his 3-point shot, midrange shot. Once he gets going, he’s obviously going to be very hard to stop, especially playing zone.”
Fittingly, Syracuse began its latest home win streak after a loss to Georgetown just over two years ago. That was Thompson III’s first win in the Carrier Dome and a huge relief at the time. Like Boeheim, he heaped lavish praise on his star.
“It was special. That’s the only way to categorize it,” Thompson said of Porter’s performance. “You saw the show that I saw. To play up here against that opponent, that’s what players do, and he’s a special player.”
This one surely wasn’t easy for the young Hoyas. The stands surrounding Jim Boeheim Court were jammed with 35,012 fans, who transformed the building into a raging sea of orange. Former star Carmelo Anthony’s jersey was retired in a halftime ceremony with the Orange in the locker room holding a 23-21 lead after a late surge in the closing seconds of the opening half.
By David Keene
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