Students took a break from studying for finals on Saturday to cheer on Syracuse Men’s Orange Basketball (7-2) as it took on on former rival the Georgetown Hoyas (7-2). The Orange continues its streak after overcoming a 13-point deficit going into the second half and finishing the game with a narrow 72-71 win.
Georgetown Freshman Mac McClung got the game started with a three-point jumper made less than a minute into the game’s start, assisted by James Akinjo. McClung proved to be a force to be reckoned with throughout the game, scoring 18 points, just trailing Jessie Govan, who led the Hoyas in scoring with 22 points.
The Orange offense struggled in the first half shooting from deep as the Hoyas kept a tough defense. Georgetown made four three-point jumpers in a row, three of which were made by senior guard Greg Malinowski.
Coach Boeheim saw his team wasn’t performing as well as it could and spoke directly to Tyus Battle after the first half.
“I challenged Tyus at halftime, ‘You can’t play like this, for us, and win,’ and he just stepped it up monstrously. He had a monstrous second half,” said Boeheim in a press conference following the game.
The Orange was able to build some momentum with new energy following the break. Battle appeared to have heeded his coach’s words, scoring 21 of his game high 26 points in the second half. Forward Elijah Hughes also helped pull the team ahead with six rebounds and 15 points scored over the course of the game.
Battle scored the winning jumper with just 2 seconds left in the game.
Also notable was Syracuse Freshman Jalen Carey with four assists and one three pointer. After the game, Coach Boeheim commended him on his performance and Tyus Battle described the guard's first year on the team.
“He’s been earning his stripes these last couple of games, it’s been a good thing for him.”
While the Orange was able to play a better game in the second half, the team is still not up to Boeheim’s standards. Syracuse needs to step up its offensive game in order to maintain its winning streak and is not performing as well as it should be at this point in the season, said Boeheim.
“We played with desperation in the second half -- we shouldn’t have to play with desperation to win.”
The Orange has a full week to practice and develop its offensive skills, and will face the Old Dominion Monarchs at home in the Carrier Dome on December 15.