History Has Many Layers

History Has Many Layers

Syracuse played in front of the largest crowd ever to assemble to watch a collegiate basketball game, but the game would end in favor of the fans who accounted for the smaller portion of those in attendance. More inside.

The rivalry between the Syracuse Orange and the Georgetown Hoyas in men's basketball dates back to 1930. From their first match until now, 83 years have passed.

World War II took center stage.

The civil rights movement took charge.

Computers were placed in homes.

And now many people do something that was normally reserved to a lovable Looney Tunes character — they "tweet".

This rivalry had spilled into the Big East Conference where both teams became yearly foes.

With the Orange leaving for the Atlantic Coast Conference next season and the future of the Hoyas still up in the air, the longtime quarrelers took to the stage of Jim Boeheim Court inside the Carrier Dome.

About a week after the 83rd anniversary of their first match back on February 15, 1930, Syracuse and Georgetown met in the Dome for their final contest there as conference foes. But to the dismay of most of the record crowd of 35,012 — the largest to attend a college basketball game on a college campus — the 11th-ranked Hoyas (21-4, 11-3) prevailed 57-46.

The game began in favor of No. 8 Syracuse with senior guard Brandon Triche putting the New York squad on the board first with a jumper at 18:07. The Orange (22-5, 10-4) would hold onto the lead until the 5:09 mark in the first half.

Their advantage was broken by Georgetown junior forward Otto Porter, Jr., whose dunk put the Hoyas up 16-15. But, with 27 seconds before the break, Syracuse senior forward James Southerland's deep connection would gain the lead back for the Orange, who went into halftime up 23-21.

In the opening half, neither team had many positives to look back on as far as scoring. Syracuse made 9 of 29 shots from the field, while Georgetown connected on 7 of 30. The two rivals combined for a 5-for-28 outing from beyond the arc in the opening half.

With both teams heading off the court, a well-known figure in Syracuse basketball history was coming on. Carmelo Anthony, an integral part of Syracuse's 2003 national title, stood at half-court as his orange and blue jersey was retired.

Surrounded by the sellout crowd, Anthony also saw his jersey hanging from the rafters, placed next to the team's 2003 National Championship banner, fitting because Syracuse could not have one without the other. Memories played on the newly-installed HD video screens around the Dome of what the Orange were with who they call "'Melo".

But nostalgia was replaced quickly with agita as Georgetown ripped the lead from Syracuse rapidly with a three by junior guard Markel Starks to open the second half.

After junior forward C.J. Fair gave the Orange the lead back, 27-26, early on, the closest they would come was on Triche's layup, which tied the contest at 29 apiece, followed by a four-point deficit with 6:49 remaining.

The Hoyas would cease to take their foot off the accelerator, especially Porter.

Porter was responsible in some way for five of Georgetown's final nine connections, be it making the basket, assisting, or stealing to start the possession.

He finished atop all players by far with 33 points. The closest total to Porter was 20 points behind, attained by both Fair and Southerland, who had 13 each. Triche also scored in double-figures for Syracuse with 10.

Porter was the best threat from distance, taking the most tries from long range (10) and connecting most often (five times).

"He had a tremendous game," said Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim of Porter. "He really won the game."

On the glass, Syracuse slightly edged Georgetown, 36 to 34, with both teams looking almost identical on the offensive end (13 to 12) and defensive side (23 to 22); Syracuse held the one-rebound advantage on both ends of the court.

The Orange did not score on even one of their six offensive rebounds in the first half. They would only achieve points after a mere two of their 13 offensive boards for the game.

Georgetown did just a little bit more with their second chances, connecting four times from their 12 offensive rebounds.

"It doesn't look like we were beat that badly on the boards," Boeheim offered. "I thought there was some opportunities for us on the offensive glass that we didn't get, didn't finish, but rebounding wasn't a big factor in the game. We made some bad turnovers, and we shot 4-for-20 from the three-point line."

On a dismal and abysmal shooting night by both teams, where Syracuse made 17 of 50 and Georgetown connected on 19 of 54, what created the 11-point separation for the Hoyas to end the game was where they were making shots from and how they performed at the line. Georgetown made three more shots from long range than Syracuse, providing nine more points. At the charity stripe, they put four more tries inside the cylinder. Their performances from both the three-point and foul lines gave them a cumulative 13 points, hence a victory.

"Offensively, the games that we've lost, we have struggled shooting the basketball," Boeheim remarked. "Today is no exception."

"I thought Georgetown played a tremendous defensive game," Boeheim added, "and I thought Porter was clearly the difference in the game."

On a night where the Orange were making history and remembering a positive piece of their history, the present is what will be remembered, as Georgetown spoils a Syracuse celebration and ends the longest active home-winning streak in NCAA Division I men's basketball at 38 games.

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