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Both teams coming off blown leads, Hoyas visit Syracuse to renew the rivalry

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 08 Georgetown at Syracuse Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In case you forgot (yeah right), the Georgetown Hoyas will venture north to play the Syracuse Orange this Saturday at 8pm 7pm at the Carrier Dome. The meeting of the old rivals will be televised on ESPN2 ESPN. (UPDATED)

Saturday will be the 96th meeting between the former BIG EAST rivals with Syracuse leading the all-time series 51-44. The Hoyas’ record with the Orange is 3-2 since Syracuse joined the ACC. Last year, Georgetown beat Boeheim’s zone and Syracuse 89-79 at home.

This season, Syracuse has showed promise but took a pause due to potential COVID-19 exposure around the Buffalo game. Like the Hoyas, Syracuse is reeling from a recently blown second-half lead. Unlike the Hoyas this year, however, the Orange have shown they can put together a game-winning comeback.

Here are the links:

Syracuse basketball vs. Hoyas has changed, but still one of best rivalries | INSIDETHELOUDHOUSE

Those pesky Hoyas make a trip to the Hill for a prime-time bruiser on Saturday night that is slated for tip-off at 8 pm, with ESPN2 providing television coverage. When the ‘Cuse bolted the old Big East for the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013-14, it was virtually impossible for the long-time rivalry between Syracuse basketball and Georgetown to continue exuding the exact same level of emotions – excitement, perhaps, or even hatred? – that had existed over the past few decades.

Dating back to the 1980s, with head coach Jim Boeheim and the late Pearl Washington on one side, and fellow head coach John Thompson Jr. and Patrick Ewing on the other, the Big East – coupled with the rise of ESPN – played a critical role in the growth of college basketball. By my estimation, other than Duke-North Carolina, for many, many years, no other rivalry embodied the sport better than the ‘Cuse against the Hoyas.

Syracuse adjusts schedule | SOLDIERS-DAILYORANGE

Syracuse resumed team practices on Sunday following a 14-day pause due to positive tests within Buffalo’s program. SU will have three days of practice before playing the Panthers. Its current three-game winning streak — the Orange’s second of the season — includes wins against Boston College and Northeastern, with the game against the Eagles marking the return of junior guard Buddy Boeheim after he missed three games due to contact tracing.

Per Game Table
Rk Player G GS MP FG FGA FG% 3P 3PA 3P% TRB AST STL TOV PTS
1 Alan Griffin 8 7 32.9 5.8 13.0 .442 2.8 7.3 .379 7.6 3.1 1.4 3.1 16.4
2 Quincy Guerrier 8 8 32.0 5.8 8.8 .657 1.0 2.3 .444 9.4 0.9 0.8 0.8 16.1
3 Buddy Boeheim 5 5 34.0 5.2 15.6 .333 1.8 7.4 .243 1.6 2.8 1.8 1.2 14.0
4 Marek Dolezaj 8 8 34.8 4.4 7.9 .556 0.0 0.3 .000 6.0 4.3 1.5 2.4 12.1
5 Joseph Girard 8 8 31.1 3.4 10.9 .310 2.4 7.5 .317 3.5 4.1 1.9 2.9 10.8
6 Kadary Richmond 8 3 25.1 2.5 5.6 .444 0.3 1.6 .154 4.3 3.8 2.5 1.8 8.1
7 Woody Newton 7 0 10.9 1.7 3.3 .522 0.9 2.0 .429 2.9 0.1 0.4 0.6 5.0
8 Robert Braswell 6 0 10.2 1.2 4.2 .280 0.7 2.8 .235 1.3 0.0 0.3 0.7 3.3
9 Bourama Sidibe 1 1 4.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.0
10 Frank Anselem 4 0 6.5 0.3 0.3 1.000 0.0 0.0 1.3 0.0 0.3 0.8 1.5
11 Jesse Edwards 4 0 3.0 0.3 0.5 .500 0.0 0.0 0.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.8
12 John Bol Ajak 5 0 5.8 0.2 0.6 .333 0.0 0.0 0.6 0.4 0.0 0.2 0.4
Provided by CBB at Sports Reference: View Original Table
Generated 1/7/2021.

Panthers Edge Orange, 63-60 - Syracuse University Athletics | CUSE

HOW THE GAME WAS DECIDED With the score knotted at 57-57 with 1:30 to play, Griffin buried a triple to put the Orange ahead, 60-57. Femi Odukale answered back for the Panthers with a layup to bring Pitt within one. A block by Griffin on a fast-break layup by Xavier Johnson kept the Orange on top, but Au’diese Toney scored on a drive with eight seconds left to give the Panthers their first lead of the game. After a Syracuse turnover, Johnson sank two free throws to secure the victory for Pitt, 63-60.

FROM COACH BOEHEIM “We got shots that we can make and need to make, but we didn’t make them” said Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim. “Our defense was pretty good, but we depend on making jump shots and we didn’t make them.”

SU blows 18-point lead, loses to Pittsburgh, 63-60 | SYRACUSE

Syracuse didn’t have any offense other than the 3-pointer. The Orange attempted 38 shots from 3-point range and made 12. Syracuse led 32-18 at halftime, but the Panthers erased much of that advantage quickly in the second half. Pittsburgh outscored the Orange 13-3 as the second half began, narrowing the margin to 35-31.

Making matters worse for Syracuse, Quincy Guerrier, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder for the season, picked up his fourth foul early in the second half. But Syracuse found salvation from an unexpected source. Robert Braswell, a redshirt sophomore, connected on three consecutive 3-pointers to restore the Orange’s halftime edge. Braswell drained a 3, then another and then another to give the Orange a 44-33 lead with 13 minutes to go.

Three takeaways from Syracuse’s 63-60 loss to Pittsburgh | NUNESMAGICIAN

I thought I’d be writing about Syracuse’s good shot selection leading to an eventual Orange victory. SU actually took advantage of multiple good looks from three-point range to build its lead. However, the second half saw a multitude of puzzling and confusing shots from Syracuse.

Joe Girard in particular took multiple questionable shots in the second half as the Orange only went 5-for-19 from deep in the final 20 minutes. It seemed that Syracuse returned to bad habits with Syracuse guards taking shots way too early in the shot clock and settling for contested look all over the floor. The Orange offense stalled hard against the Panthers as there seemed to be little variety to Syracuse’s game plan. The shot chart is very telling with 38 of SU’s 60 field goal attempts coming from deep.

Jeff Capel bests Jim Boeheim for first time as Pitt coach | CARDIACHILL

Pitt’s guards were essential to the winning effort ... All told, the [guard] quartet combined for 48 of the team’s 63 points. And Johnson’s game-high seven assists were particularly vital, as Pitt’s improved ball movement — especially in the second half, when Johnson found his form and posted all of his stats other than a steal, a turnover and two fouls — confounded the Syracuse defense, making victory possible.

Syracuse overcomes 16-point 2nd half deficit to defeat Buffalo 107-96 in overtime | SOLDIERS-DAILYORANGE

The comeback and the takeover came gradually. It started with 16:14 left in the second half, when Buddy Boeheim hit a jumper to trim Syracuse’s deficit to 57-43. It continued through free throws, a 3-pointer here and there, charges and fouls drawn. By the end of regulation, Buffalo’s 16-point lead had dissipated. And the dagger — the one UB was poised to hit for so long but eventually was the one Syracuse did — came in overtime, when Kadary Richmond kicked out to Quincy Guerrier in the corner. He sunk the 3-pointer, and Syracuse’s lead grew to six en route two minutes into overtime. “A huge 3,” head coach Jim Boeheim said postgame.

Men’s Basketball Preview: Boston College vs. Syracuse | BCINTERRUPTION

When it comes to their one loss of the season, Boeheim was quick to blame his defensive lapses. He chalked up the loss to poor transition defense and costly turnovers as the catalysts in propelling Rutgers to their fourth victory of the season. Interestingly enough, however, Rutgers had a wider margin in turnovers for the game with 17 to the Orange’s 12. The Orange were also not able to get anything going from beyond the arc in the loss, shooting a meager 26.9%.

[Opponents] will have to take notes from the Rutgers game if they want any chance of getting their first ACC win of the season. This means capitalizing in transition offense, dominating the pace of the game and not giving Boeheim’s squad a chance to set up their infamous zone defense. [Guards were] able to find success against this defense in the past with his speed to the cup and I would expect Langford, Heath and Tabbs to be effective in cutting through the defense to the hoop in this contest. The issue will really lie in ball security in those cuts to the hoop.

Quincy Guerrier named ACC Player of the Week following 2 Syracuse wins | SOLDIERS-DAILYORANGE

The Atlantic Coast Conference has named Syracuse forward Quincy Guerrier the conference’s Player of the Week after he averaged 22.5 points and 13.5 rebounds in SU’s pair of games last week. His team-high 27 points and 11 rebounds helped the Orange (6-1, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) pull off a 16-point comeback against Buffalo on Saturday, defeating the Bulls 107-96 in overtime. Three days prior — in a game where Syracuse struggled immensely on the offensive end — Guerrier had 18 points and a career-high 16 rebounds to lift it past Northeastern. “He’s stronger than most anybody he’s going to play against, and he’s quick to the ball, he’s got good instincts around the basket,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said after the Northeastern game. “I think he’s a much better player than he’s shown so far because he can put it on the floor and go by people and make plays.”

Syracuse basketball expected to have full roster for Pittsburgh; Bourama Sidibe back to practice | NUNESMAGICIAN

The Orange are expected to have a full roster at its disposal come Wednesday for its recently schedule game against Pittsburgh, which takes the place of Florida State after the Seminoles were put on pause. Jim Boeheim spoke with media on the ACC Coaches Zoom call on Monday, divulging that players were allowed to practice individually with position coaches during the pause.

Syracuse.com’s Mike Water asked Boeheim if Syracuse would have all players available on Wednesday. Boeheim confirmed saying, “We’ll have a full roster.” That includes 6-foot-10 senior center Bourama Sidibe, who has missed all but four minutes of the season with a torn meniscus. Sidibe has returned to practice after having surgery to repair his left knee. “He’s worked hard individually. He’s had a couple practices. Obviously his conditioning is a long ways away but he has participated in full practices,” Boeheim said of Sidibe.