Syracuse heads to Georgetown looking to avenge Carrier Dome loss, end regular season on high note

first_img Published on March 9, 2013 at 12:42 am Contact Chris: [email protected] | @chris_iseman Facebook Twitter Google+ The emotions and hype surrounding Syracuse’s final Big East regular season game at Georgetown could be exactly what the Orange needs. It’s the final chance to hit the outside shots that SU has routinely missed in recent games. It’s the final chance to find some momentum heading into the postseason. And it’s the final chance to exact revenge against Georgetown on the Hoyas’ home court.All of it puts the onus on Syracuse to play well.“I think the good thing is, we’ve got a couple of days and we’ve got a very difficult game with Georgetown that I think is what we need,” head coach Jim Boeheim said after Syracuse’s 78-57 win over DePaul on Wednesday. “We need to play that kind of game and try to get better.”Not a whole lot has gone well for the Orange in the final stretch of the season. Syracuse has lost three of its last four games, and its latest win came over a DePaul team that’s a nonfactor in the Big East. Even then, the Orange shot only 38.8 percent from the field. To beat No. 5 Georgetown (23-5, 13-4 Big East) on Saturday at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., No. 17 Syracuse is going to have find some rhythm from the perimeter, crash the offensive glass and find a way to slow down Otto Porter. If the Orange does all of that, it can be in good position to beat Georgetown in the final Big East regular season game between the two teams.The Hoyas are on a roll, and have lost only one of their last 12 games, though that did come against unranked Villanova on Saturday. Still, Georgetown has surged up the rankings after beginning the season unranked.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe one constant for the Hoyas has been Porter, who dropped 33 points and hit five 3-pointers in Georgetown’s win over Syracuse on Feb. 23 in the Carrier Dome. Porter simply dominated that game, stunning the record crowd of 35,012 and silencing it with jaw-dropping shots from all over the floor.So the Orange’s defense has to close out on Porter. He’s difficult to defend because he can hit shots from the paint, the high post or out on the arc. Porter’s active and sneaks behind defenders to work for open looks, giving defenses headaches in the process.“In a couple situations we had a defensive breakdown, we didn’t find him,” Boeheim said after Porter lit up the Carrier Dome court on Feb. 23.Georgetown’s offense revolves around Porter, who’s averaging 16.6 points per game. The second-leading scorer is Markel Starks with 12.2 points per game.Four of Syracuse’s five starters score more than Starks. So Georgetown’s offense, which ranks second to last in the Big East in scoring at 65.1 points per game, is not dominant. But when Porter’s hitting his shots, he can singlehandedly lead the Hoyas to a victory. They only shot 35.2 percent against SU, but still managed to win the game.The Orange’s offense, though, hasn’t been much better. Syracuse’s shooting woes have continued on in this most recent stretch that’s seen the Orange go 1-3 in its last four games.Shots from the perimeter aren’t falling with nearly enough consistency, and SU still isn’t getting much production from its centers at the offensive end of the floor. Syracuse crashed the offensive glass hard against DePaul on Wednesday, which gave it plenty of opportunities for second-chance points.Boeheim said Wednesday it’s a case of good news, bad news. The good news for the Orange is that it’s been getting offensive rebounds. The bad news is that’s getting them because so many shots are clanking off the rim. Still, it could be a winning formula for Syracuse as its offense struggles.“It’s just about having the mentality of getting every rebound,” forward James Southerland said. “If we do that, and crash the offensive boards, we’re going to get a lot more possessions out of it.”Syracuse has the chance to end its regular season on a winning note by correcting everything that’s gone wrong in recent games.Hit shots, grab rebounds, and close out on shooters – especially Porter.In its final game of the regular season, in its final chance to avenge its Feb. 23 loss to the Hoyas, Syracuse can still manage to head into the postseason on a high note.“If we make the extra effort every play though,” guard Brandon Triche said, “then we are going to be in a good position.” Commentslast_img

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