Thursday, February 10, 2011

Orangemen Empty Down the Stretch, Fall to Georgetown

It all started out so promising. The Orangemen defense held Georgetown to just 29 first half points and Syracuse had the lead at the break by two points. The Cuse continued to battle defensively in the second half and clung to a 4 point lead with 6:31 left in the ball game (53-49). Syracuse seemed to have the momentum, and with the hometown fans behind them, we hoped that Syracuse would keep fighting and gut out this victory against our arch-nemisis.

From there, the Orangemen's collective basketball intelligence and talent decided to pack it in and call it a night. Syracuse would not make another shot from the field for the rest of the game. Unfortunately, Georgetown scored 15 points in that span and pulled away for a 64-56 Big East victory in front of 26,904 in the Carrier Dome. The Cuse were outscored 15-3 in the final 6 minutes and change to hand Georgetown the victory.

Rick Jackson was unfortunately victimized by Nate Lubick and Julian Vaughn, who both took two of the biggest flops in Syracuse-Georgetown history to draw fouls on Rick Jackson. To add insult to injury, with 14:40 left to play Jackson was called for an off the ball foul in the offensive zone for his 4th foul of the game and earned himself a seat on the bench for much of the remainder of the game.

Big East officials chose this game as the first game all season for Rick Jackson to be in foul trouble, with three highly questionable calls all on the offensive end of the court. Rick Jackson barely brushed up against his man to call that 4th foul while he was boxing out and establishing position in the middle of the paint. That essentially took him out for the remainder of the game and that call was an absolute DISGRACE.

However the Orangemen would keep chopping at Georgetown and did not quit once Jackson took his 4th foul. Syracuse managed to build a four point lead after being down 3 points when Rick Jackson exited the game with great effort from C.J. Fair, Baye Moussa Keita and Kris Joseph. But when the game mattered down the stretch, the Orangemen would come up empty on nearly every possession.

Rick Jackson finished the night with 4 points on 1 of 6 shooting and 8 rebounds (7 in the first half). He also blocked 3 shots and had 1 steal in addition to his 4 fouls. There were a few times in the first half Rick Jackson streaked through the paint with a step on his man, although the guards failed to find him.

At one point with under 4 minutes to go in the 1st half Jackson ran alone through the paint and Dion Waiters instead threw the ball around the perimeter to Kris Joseph who ended up taking a charge. Jackson turned to Waiters and emphatically informed him of his availability down low.

Freshman C.J. Fair had another tremendous outing, shooting 6 of 9 from the floor for 12 points and finishing with 5 rebounds and 2 blocks. Baye Moussa Keita pitched in a season high 5 blocks and notched 4 points and 4 rebounds for the Cuse.

Kris Joseph had a seemingly good game, scoring a team high 14 points, but a closer look at his numbers paints a very different picture. Joseph was 4 of 10 from the field overall, and 2 of 7 from 3-point range. Joseph made his first two 3-pointers of the game, so he missed his final 5 shots in a row from beyond the arc.

Furthermore, since he only took 10 shots from the floor, that means he only took 3 shots that weren't 3's in the 40 minutes he played. Two out of three is much better statistics than two out of seven. Perhaps Kris Joseph can stop throwing the ball up from 3 and create some shots for himself that don't result in an offensive charge call (he was called for three charges)? That is what we are missing from Kris Joseph! At least his free throw shooting was acceptable, 4 of 5 from the charity stripe, however his 1 rebound in 40 minutes simply will not get it done for the Orangemen.

The loss drops the #12/13 Syracuse Orangemen to 20-5 on the year, a very respectable mark, and 7-5 in the Big East, not as good. As of right now, Syracuse has lost five of their last seven Big East games and face a match up against Rick Pitino's Louisville Cardinals on Saturday at 12:00. Georgetown's win improves their record to 19-5 on the year, and 8-4 in Big East play. This is Georgetown's first win in the Carrier Dome since the 2001-02 season.

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