Despite a valiant effort, Georgetown suffered its second straight loss in its first game without injured senior point guard Chris Wright, falling to Syracuse, 58-51.
Georgetown struggled to score even before Wright broke his hand in the second half of the Feb. 23 loss to Cincinnati, and his absence for a full 40 minutes only furthered their offensive woes.
The Hoyas shot only 36 percent from the field while committing 16 turnovers. Head coach John Thompson III said he believes his squad got good looks, but his players believed there is a noticeable difference on the floor without Wright.
“At points we were holding the ball too long, looking for something instead of passing the ball and looking for each other,” Georgetown senior guard Austin Freeman said.
Freeman wasn’t the only person who saw the difference. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said his team was fortunate that it had to play a Georgetown team sans Wright.
“Obviously Chris Wright not playing is a huge thing,” Boeheim said. “I hope he’s alright. I hope he can come back because Georgetown is obviously one of the best teams in our league with him playing.”
Georgetown scored the first basket of the game, but the 2-0 margin would be the team’s last lead of the first half as Syracuse immediately responded with a 10-3 run to take a five-point lead.
The Orange maintained the lead throughout the first half, though the game never got out of reach for the Hoyas.
Georgetown had an opportunity to take the lead with just over nine minutes remaining in the first half, but reserve guard Vee Sanford turned the ball over with a double dribble.
Syracuse responded with a 6-0 run to take a seven-point lead, their largest up to that point, but Georgetown clawed back to cut the lead to 3.
The Orange ended the half on a 9-2 run to take a 10-point lead into halftime, but the Hoyas dominated the first 10 minutes of the second half with good defense and timely three-point shooting.
Georgetown eventually took its second and final lead of the game with 10:02 remaining on a lay-up by freshman forward Nate Lubick.
Georgetown fought its way back once again and had a chance to tie the game with 28 seconds left, but junior guard Jason Clark’s three-point attempt was blocked by Syracuse junior forward Kris Joseph. Syracuse converted several free throw attempts to bar the Hoyas chances for a comeback.
Key Players: Freeman poured in 16 points for the Hoyas, with Clark his only teammate to reach double figures with 11 points. Syracuse junior guard Scoop Jardine led the Orange with 17 points and seven assists.
Key Stretch: Over the final 10 minutes of the game, Georgetown went 1-12 from the field as Syracuse reasserted its control of the game.
Next Up: The Hoyas have a week off before traveling to Cincinnati for their final regular season game on Mar. 5. The Orange return to action the same day, hosting DePaul.