- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 4, 2003

SYRACUSE, N.Y. It was pretty much the story of Georgetown's season: Mike Sweetney has a monster game and the Hoyas lose.
Yet again, the Hoyas wasted a superb effort from Sweetney, who recorded his 31st career double-double, but can look at their defense as the reason for another loss in a season that is slipping away.
Five Syracuse players scored in double figures as the No.19 Orangemen beat the Hoyas 88-80 before 20,702 last night at the Carrier Dome. Sweetney finished with 32 points, 13 rebounds, a career-high seven blocks and four assists, but that wasn't enough against Syracuse's balanced attack, led by freshmen Gerry McNamara and Carmelo Anthony with 22 points each.
The reeling Hoyas (10-8, 2-6 Big East) have lost four in a row and six of their past seven games. Georgetown is 0-6 away from MCI Center, meaning they are guaranteed a losing road record this season.
"I certainly prefer to lose close games than getting beat by 25 because when you're losing close games there is light at the end of the tunnel," Georgetown coach Craig Esherick said. "I don't know when I'm going to the see the light, but I much prefer to lose close games than losing by 30 points. If you lose by 30 points, you know you don't have a chance."
The Orangemen (15-3, 6-2) made 29 of 33 free throws to put away the hacking Hoyas. McNamara went 8-for-8 at the line, while Anthony made 10 of 13 free throws. Syracuse also shot well from the floor (26-for-55 for 47.3 percent) and hit seven of 16 3-pointers.
"I thought tonight we moved the ball better and made some shots. It was basically our offense," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said.
Sweetney, who has finished with 58 points and 27 rebounds combined in Georgetown's last two games, was again the Hoyas' most reliable option. The 6-foot-8 Sweetney showed range on his jump shot and proved his arsenal can be deadly from farther out than two feet.
"We tried everything we could to stop Sweetney, and we failed in every aspect of it," Anthony said.
Sweetney's 32 points were the most against Syracuse this season.
That's saying a lot considering the Orangemen play some of the best defense in the Big East. Coming into this game, Syracuse ranked second in the Big East in field goal percentage defense at 38.6 percent.
In the first half, Sweetney carried Georgetown with 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting, five rebounds and four blocks. He knocked down jumpers from the foul line and baseline, keeping the Hoyas within 42-36 at halftime. Meanwhile, the rest of the Hoyas made just nine of 23 shots.
As usual, Georgetown struggled with its perimeter defense. The Orangemen made six of 12 3-pointers in the first half. Georgetown's guards don't rotate quick enough when Esherick opts to play a zone, ultimately turning the game into target practice for opponents.
McNamara and Anthony inflicted the most damage on the Hoyas in the half. McNamara and Anthony each scored 11 points and combined to make five of 10 3-pointers.
"We're not getting out there like we should. Too many people are wide open," Sweetney said of his team's defensive effort.
When Georgetown played man-to-man, the Orangemen penetrated at will and made easy layups. Syracuse backup point guard Billy Edelin, who is from Silver Spring, made a mockery of Georgetown's perimeter defense, slicing through it like a hot knife through butter.
Edelin, who was suspended for Syracuse's first 12 games by the NCAA for playing in an unsanctioned over-40 rec league, scored six points and handed out two assists in 11 minutes.

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