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Courtside from the Carrier Dome...

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Greetings from the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.  We're about 10 minutes from tip-off for tonight's Rivalry Week matchup between the Hoyas and the Orange.
It was a sunny, but cold day here in Central New York.  It didn't prevent me from getting out for a good run this afternoon, but it was still a nice day.

That was in stark contrast to yesterday, when we flew out of Dulles, expecting a 52-minute trip to Syracuse, but it ended up being an 8-hour ordeal.  We circled above Syracuse for a bit and were given the okay to land, but as we descended, you couldn't see much and the pilot ended up bringing us back up and said we'd land in Rochester.

So about 15 minutes later, we landed in Rochester and after sitting on the plane for a few minutes, we went to the terminal office and sat inside.  The kind folks at the terminal made some popcorn for us and we were able to lounge around for a bit, so that made things easier. 

Our bus arrived around 8:30 and then our pizza arrived at about 8:45 so we hit the road for a 90-minute ride to Syracuse, getting in around 10:30 p.m.

I went over to the Carrier Dome this morning with Senior Director of Communications Bill Shapland and the team for shootaround.  We were met there by ESPN announcers John Saunders and Fran Fraschilla.  Saunders sat down with Coach Thompson for a bit, talking about the rivalry and a bit about Austin Freeman.    Saunders, who spent time in Baltimore and is a bit of a Hoya fan, also is a diabetic and reached out to Austin after he was diagnosed with diabetes last year.

I'm sitting near the Hoya bench and Georgetown sports information assistants Ryan Sakamoto and John Cantalupi will be jealous to know that I'm sitting just down the row from Tim Hardaway, who is doing the game here for a national radio broadcast.

Freeman drills a three from the left wing off a feed from Wright to give the Hoyas the early lead after an exchange of possessions, but the Orange tied it up and Wright found Clark for a three-ball.

We're at the second media timeout of the first half and the Hoyas have jumped out to a 16-10 lead, keeping the crowd at bay.  Interestingly, a trivia question encouraging fans to text a response as to what former Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson, Jr. wore, as they said, on his neck.    I assume they meant over his shoulder and the famous towel.

We're at another media timeout, game tied at 16-all, and a male cheerleader is trying to exhort the crowd into a cheer, but no one seems to realize that his microphone is not on...making this cheer, um, somewhat lame.

Back here for the second half.  The Hoyas are in the midst an 8-0 run after SU took a 37-31 lead.  The Orange will be going to the line after a foul call with three seconds left on the shot clock.

I'm in the midst of working on my game recap now, but will try and post anything that may be of interest during the remainder of this game.  I did hear some folks speaking about how quick the first half; I can't imagine the second half will go as quick.

There are just over 11 minutes left in the game and we're tied at 44-all.  Senior guard Austin Freeman has scored 12 points to lead the Hoyas; his 22nd game this season in double figures and the 80th of his career.

Fellow guard Chris Wright has handed out eight assists so far this season.  He's handed out at least five 14 times this season and that's his sixth game with at least eight.  The eight assists match a BIG EAST career high for Wright.





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