And just like that, Georgetown’s five-game winning streak finally has some serious teeth. After taking care of LaSalle last week and now Syracuse in the Carrier Dome, Georgetown’s season once again has life and, perhaps even more importantly, hope as the BIG EAST season looms near. Isn’t it funny what a week can do sometimes?
It was a rough week as Isaac Copeland said goodbye right after returning from Miami. Much was expected from Copeland from Day 1 but now the team has definitive leadership in the form of LJ Peak and Rodney Pryor and the two showed it by combining for 43 of the Hoyas 78 points on Saturday afternoon. Peak added his second career double-double while Pryor put his stamp on the Georgetown - Syracuse rivalry in perhaps his only opportunity with 13 of his 20 points in the second half of a tightly contested game that saw three ties and five lead changes. If you can roll out those two guys every game, you should be able to find a way to successfully navigate through the season despite shortcomings elsewhere.
Over at KenPom the Hoyas predicted season just went from 15-16 to 17-14 with that big win over Syracuse. Flip a few more of those losses into wins and we’re talking about getting back into the NCAA Tournament. Yes, conference play hasn’t even begun yet but as we found out last season, things can spiral out of control very quickly with a slow start. Georgetown started league play at 7-5 last season but they are now in position to be 8-4 with a win over Greensboro on Thursday.
As the season began it seemed as if every dive into the Georgetown media guide ultimately turned into a search of sad Hoya facts. That all changed today as Georgetown is on the very good side of some relevant records against Syracuse.
Georgetown has now taken four of the last five in the series against Syracuse. This is the best five game stretch for the Hoyas against the Orange in 14 years. You’d have to go back to to the late 80’s to find a better five game run.
After starting his career with five straight losses in the Carrier Dome to the Orange, JT3 and the Hoyas have now won on three of their last four visits to Syracuse.
Speaking of wins in the Carrier Dome, Georgetown has now won consecutive road games at Syracuse for the just the third time in program history and the first since the victories in the 1987 and 1988 seasons. The only other time the Hoyas achieved this feat was after picking up wins in the 1983 and 1984 seasons.
Big Bench Moments: Jonathan Mulmore didn’t get the start but the junior college transfer played 23 solid minutes and provided the Hoyas with an option to dribble into that Syracuse zone. Mulmore finished with five points, three assists, and zero turnovers. After getting the second half start, Mulmore did the unexpected late in the game by draining just his third 3-pointer as a Hoyas. He came into the game just 2 of 9 for the season from deep.
Reggie Cameron, the Hoyas lone fourth year senior who didn’t go with the team to Maui, was a surprise early sub for JT3 against Syracuse. Cameron had only previously played this season in the Coppin State win. The boxscore won’t show a huge impact but Cameron hit a late jumper from the middle of the Syracuse zone with the game still in the balance.
Winning on the Glass: It didn’t seem like it at times, particularly with Tyler Lydon seemingly picking up offensive rebounds with ridiculous ease but Georgetown finished the game with a 41-30 advantage on the boards against Syracuse. Yes, this number is likely inflated by those eleven Syracuse misses from the free throw line but both teams came up with 12 offensive rebounds. This is a major improvement from that one offensive rebound performance against Wisconsin.
Govan Gets Going: In a first half that saw both Akoy Agau and Marcus Derrickson get in some foul trouble and then Jessie Govan and Bradley Hayes both struggle in the paint at both ends of the court, JT3 went so far as to give Trey Mourning a shot in the post.
After gaining his first start since Maui, Govan turned things around and finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. It seems as if it always takes a performance like this to get a win over Syracuse as last year Marcus Derrickson posted a double-double of his own against the Orange.
Taking What’s Free: Both Georgetown and Syracuse attempted 25 free throws but that’s where the similarities end as the Hoyas made eight more than the Orange. Georgetown spread the wealth as Pryor, Peak, Govan, Agau, Derrickson, and Mulmore each made at least two free throws.