March 11, 2010
NEW YORK - Junior guard Chris Wright (Bowie, Md./St. John's College H.S. [D.C.]) scored a team-high 27 points and sophomore center Greg Monroe (New Orleans, La./Helen Cox) recorded his 12th double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 rebounds as eighth-seeded Georgetown used a 22-4 run in the second half en route to a 91-84 win over top-seeded Syracuse in front of 19,375 at Madison Square Garden Thursday afternoon.
This marks the fifth time the Hoyas have beaten the No. 1 seed in the BIG EAST Tournament, the last coming during the 2000 season, when GU beat Syracuse, 76-72, in the quarterfinals. Georgetown improves to 22-9 overall and advances to the semifinals of the BIG EAST Tournament for the 20th time. The Hoyas await the winner of a Thursday afternoon matchup between Marquette and Villanova.
The Hoyas trailed by three points, 40-37, at the break, but Syracuse opened a 57-48 lead on a three-pointer from Andy Rautins with 13:43 to play in the game. Georgetown responded with a 10-2 spurt over 2:52 and took the lead for good on a running baseline jumper from freshman guard Vee Sanford (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Catholic).
That spurt was part of a larger 22-4 run - with Wright scoring eight points - over 6:05 as the Hoyas extended their lead to nine points, 70-61, on a layup from junior guard Austin Freeman (Mitchellville, Md./DeMatha). Five different players scored during the run, with freshman guard Hollis Thompson (Los Angeles, Calif./Loyola) starting it with a three-pointer, sophomore guard Jason Clark (Arlington, Va./Bishop O'Connell) adding two free throws and a three-pointer and Monroe adding a basket.
Syracuse responded and used a 9-3 spurt over 2:52 to cut the lead to three points, 73-70, on a basket from Kris Joseph. A pair of free throws from Scoop Jardine narrowed the gap to 74-72, but Monroe took over in the closing minutes. He converted a pair of three-point plays in the final two minutes and the Hoyas hit 7-of-10 free throws in the final 1:39, with Freeman connecting on 4-of-4 attempts in the final 15 seconds to secure the win.
Syracuse jumped out to an 11-4 lead as Wes Johnson hit a pair of three-pointers and Rautins added another, giving SU the early advantage. The Hoyas responded with a 10-0 run over 3:38, taking a 14-11 lead on a jumper from Thompson. Five different players scored during the spurt, as Wright, Monroe, Clark and Freeman each scored baskets.
Kris Joseph and Rautins hit three-pointers to give SU a 17-14 lead, but Wright responded with a three of his own to tie the game. After a basket from Freeman tied the game at 21-all with 9:25 to play in the half, Syracuse responded with a 13-4 run over 3:42 and took its biggest lead, 34-25, on a basket from Johnson.
The Hoyas came back with an 8-0 run and narrowed the lead to 34-33 on back-to-back three-pointers from Clark. A basket from Joseph made it 40-37 and the Hoyas had a chance to tie the game in the waning moments but went to the break trailing by three points.
The Hoyas shot 57.9 percent from the floor (33-of-57), including a blistering 69.2 percent in the second half (18-of-26). The Hoyas won the battle of the boards, 29-28, and committed only 12 turnovers, while forcing 17 from Syracuse. Georgetown had 22 assists on 33 field goals and also added 13 steals, the second-highest single game mark this season.
Wright hit 10-of-16 shots from the field for 27 points, grabbed six rebounds and had six assists, while Monroe scored 15 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and had seven assists and three steals, while Freeman added 18 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Clark connected on 6-of-11 shots from the field and scored 17 points, adding four rebounds and four assists. Thompson scored eight points, had four rebounds and three steals off the bench for the Hoyas.