- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 17, 2008

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Georgetown fell on its face again in the blue and gray crypt otherwise known as Carrier Dome.

The eighth-ranked Hoyas (20-4, 10-3 Big East) staggered through yesterday’s first half in a turnover-plagued stupor before succumbing to Syracuse 77-70 in front of sellout crowd in college basketball’s biggest arena.

Normally understated regardless of the outcome, Georgetown coach John Thompson III openly questioned his charges afterward.

“This team just hasn’t shown the hardness that is needed to win against a good team on the road. That keeps rearing its head,” said Thompson, whose team dropped to 6-4 in true road games this season. “There’s still time to get that, but we haven’t gotten there yet.”

Given Georgetown’s first-half performance against the Orange (17-9, 7-6), it’s hard to argue Thompson’s assertion.

The Hoyas entered the game in need of a breakout effort after four consecutive offensively listless performances yielded a loss at Louisville and three ugly victories over teams in the bottom half of the league.

In spite of that poor play, the Hoyas still clung to a one-game conference cushion when they took the floor at the Carrier Dome. But any illusions concerning that front-running status dissipated during a woeful 20-minute stretch.

The Hoyas, who fell behind by as many as 21 points, committed 12 turnovers before halftime. They finished the half with twice as many miscues as field goals (six). Those turnovers led to 18 points for the Orange, fueling 10-0 and 12-0 runs by Syracuse.

“We turned them over and then made them pay in transition,” said Syracuse point guard Jonny Flynn (17 points, nine assists), who had his way off the dribble with any guard Georgetown tried to put in his way.

While the Orange played inspired defense and their standout freshman seemed uncheckable, Georgetown dug itself a 16-point halftime hole (38-22) based largely on its own unforced errors.

“I don’t want to take anything away from their defense, but we were getting the ball in the overload and the short corner and just coughing it up,” Thompson said. “We were getting the ball where we wanted it. We just weren’t making plays.”

Each time the Hoyas clawed within striking distance in the second half, Syracuse responded behind the scoring troika of Flynn, sophomore guard Paul Harris (22 points, eight rebounds) and freshman forward Donte Greene (18 points).

While Georgetown’s Jonathan Wallace struggled to contain Flynn, the senior guard countered by connecting on nine of 10 shots and six 3-pointers en route to a career-high 26-point performance that included six assists and one turnover.

“Everybody on the team knew that we were off, that was evident through the first half,” Wallace said. “As a group, hopefully we’ll capitalize on this experience and not let it happen again because many of the things that went wrong in the first half were within our control.”

Though the Hoyas still control their destiny in the conference race, yesterday’s loss coupled with Louisville’s victory means the Cardinals (20-6, 10-3) now hold the league’s top slot by virtue of last week’s tiebreaking victory over Georgetown.

The two teams meet again at Verizon Center on March 8.

Hoyas report

Yesterday at Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.


Georgetown’s John Thompson III questioned his team’s “hardness” after the Hoyas lost their fourth lopsided road game, but sophomore forward DaJuan Summers (14 points, six rebounds) bridled at the charge:

“I don’t think ‘toughness’ is the term that should be used. I think ‘discipline’ is the term that should be used. We just need to stick together when things start going badly. That’s being disciplined. That’s not about being tough.”


26 Career-high scoring performance for Georgetown senior guard Jon Wallace, eclipsing his previous mark of 21 against Seton Hall last season. After Wallace connected on six of his seven 3-point attempts, it’s safe to say his shooting slump has ended.

2002 The last time Georgetown won at the Carrier Dome. The Hoyas have now lost four straight games at Syracuse and nine of the last 10 in the snow belt.

285 Consecutive minutes logged by Syracuse freshman guard Jonny Flynn. Starting with the team’s overtime loss at Georgetown, Flynn has not gone to the bench in seven straight games for the Orange, averaging 16.7 points and 4.6 assists.

Barker Davis

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