Story By: Richard Thomas
Photos By: Sol Tucker
Since last facing the Orange in 2013, fans have wanted this rematch for those two years and finally it returned today to the Verizon Center and it as the Hoyas dominated Syracuse for a 79-72 victory.
The big difference in this game was the absence of Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim, who started his first of a nine game suspension today against the Hoyas. Assistant Mike Hopkins was in charge of the Orange for the first time and even though he has been on the coaching staff with Boeheim for 20 years now, it appeared that John Thompson III had all the right cards to take his guys down to the wire in a game they dominated.
“He’s always with us, at the end of the day. He built us, built the program,” Hopkins said about his boss before pausing, eyes red and welling with tears. “I wanted this one for him tonight.”
Michael Gbinije scored 23 points for Syracuse (6-2), which has dropped two straight games, including being beaten at home by Wisconsin on Wednesday. The Orange trailed by as many as 21 points against Georgetown (4-3) in the schools’ first meeting since Syracuse left the Big East for the ACC after the 2012-13 season.
Isaac Copeland scored 14 points and freshman Marcus Derrickson added 13 points and 10 rebounds for Georgetown. The Hoyas led 36-24 at halftime, and Hayes capped an 11-2 run that made it 47-26 with a three-point play, successfully putting in a follow-up off an offensive rebound on his third try.
The Hoyas play from Bradley Hayes proved just too much in the final minute of the game and it forced Syracuse to send the Hoyas to the line. This wasn’t before the Hoyas turned the ball over two times after they failed to get the ball in bounds on the trip by Syracuse.
“They played some tough defense at the end of the game, said Hoyas Thompson. We knew they were not going to go easy in this one.
Georgetown next faces Brown on Monday night at Verizon Center.