No. 8 Georgetown Travels to Syracuse to Play the Orange Saturday Afternoon
Feb. 15, 2008
Washington, D.C. - The No. 8-ranked Georgetown men's basketball team visits the Syracuse Orange (16-9, 6-6 BIG EAST Conference) this Saturday at the Carrier Dome in a matchup of familiar BIG EAST rivals. Tip-off is scheduled for noon, with ESPN covering the game live. Dave Pasch will be calling the play-by-play alongside Fran Fraschilla, who will handle the color commentary. The game will air on SportsTalk 980 AM with Rich Chvotkin making the call.
The Hoyas kept their spot atop the BIG EAST conference with a last-second 55-53 victory over Villanova on Monday and improved to 20-3 overall and 10-2 in the BIG EAST. Senior point guard Jonathan Wallace (Harvest, Ala./Sparkman) sealed the win with two free-throws with one-tenth of a second remaining in regulation, helping the Hoyas pick up their seventh win in the last eight games. The Hoyas are ranked No. 8 in both the Associated Press Top 25 poll and in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Coaches' Poll.
Wallace paced Georgetown with 15 points to go with four steals, including a swipe from Villanova's Scottie Reynolds that led to the winning free throws. After grabbing the loose ball on what appeared to be the last possession of regulation of a game tied at 53, Wallace was fouled along the sideline by Corey Stokes 70 feet from the basket. That foul, the 48th of the game, sent Wallace to the free-throw line where he put the Hoyas ahead.
The Hoyas improved on their BIG EAST-leading scoring defense and their nation-leading field goal percentage defense of 56.7 points per game and 35.8%, respectively. In a game decided by defense, the Hoyas clamped down on Villanova and held the Wildcats to 13 percent shooting in the second half, and only 24.6 percent for the game (14 for 57).
Senior center Roy Hibbert (Adelphi, Md./Georgetown Prep.) leads the team in scoring (13.2 ppg) and rebounds (6.8), and is fourth in the BIG EAST in field goal percentage (.601) and blocked shots (2.13). He has led a Georgetown offense that is tops in the conference in field goal percentage (.491) and second in scoring margin (+13.4 ppg). Freshman Austin Freeman (Michelville, Md./DeMatha) has provided both a mid-range and a three point shooting threat for the Hoyas, as he leads the Hoyas' guards in field-goal percentage (.509), good for second on the team and 12th in the BIG EAST.
Saturday's game is a rematch from earlier this season that saw the Hoyas escape the Verizon Center with a 64-62 overtime victory against the Orange on January 21st. Senior Patrick Ewing, Jr. (Marietta, Ga./National Christian Academy) and sophomore Jeremiah Rivers (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park) sparked the defensive effort for the Hoyas late in the second half as they rallied from seven points down in the final five minutes of regulation to send the game to overtime. Georgetown held the Orange without a field goal for the final two minutes of regulation and for all of overtime as they outscored Syracuse four to two in the extra period.