SYRACUSE, N.Y. — For the second year in a row, Syracuse won the battle over Georgetown, thanks again to Tyus Battle.
Last season, Battle scored a then career-high 29 points to lead the Orange to an 86-79 comeback road win over their longtime rival.
Battle hit a game-winning, pull-up jumper just inside the 3-point line with 2.5 seconds left, giving the Orange another comeback win over the Hoyas, 72-71 at the Carrier Dome on Saturday night.
Battle scored 21 of his 26 points in the second half, fueling the Orange’s comeback from a 15-point deficit. The win was the fifth straight for Syracuse (7-2) and snapped the Hoyas (7-2) winning streak at four.
“Honestly, moments like that I don’t think too much,” Battle said. “I just try to get an open look. Ten seconds is a lot of time. I knew I would get a good look.”
“He makes them,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “He makes a lot of big shots, probably as much as anybody who’s been here or more. He’s right there. Tyus took it over. He had a phenomenal second half against a really good defensive team.”
“He (Battle) hit shots,” said Georgetown center Jessie Govan, who had a big game himself with 22 points and 12 rebounds. “He’s the guy for their team. They went to him, they called his number and he produced.”
“He knocked down big shots for them,” added Patrick Ewing, making his return to the Dome as Georgetown coach after a career in the 1980s that fueled the Hoyas-Syracuse fierce Big East rivalry. “He’s a very good player. He hurt us last year and he hurt us this year.”
Battle’s winning shot was set up by a charge drawn by the Orange’s Marek Doezaj.
Battle and the Orange were woeful in the first half. Battle was just 1 of 8 and the Orange were just 7-of-27 shooting overall.
“In the first half Georgetown was just more physical,” Boeheim said. “Our offense just wasn’t there. I challenged Tyus at halftime. He stepped it up. He had a monster second half.”
Battle said his coach’s challenge “woke me up.”
“It got me going, and that’s why he’s a Hall of Famer, a great coach. As soon as I walked out I had the mindset to attack and get easy transition buckets and get to the foul line.”
Elijah Hughes had 15 points and Oshae Brissett added 12 for Syracuse.
Mac McClung had 18 and Greg Malinowski chipped in with 11 for Georgetown.
A 3 by Govan gave the Hoyas a 71-70 lead with just over a minute remaining. Dolezaj’s charge with 10 seconds to go gave Battle the opportunity for his eventual heroics.
Georgetown took its largest lead of the game, 37-22, on a jumper by Trey Mourning when Syracuse stormed back on a 14-2 run. Battle scored 10 during the surge to bring the Orange to within three at 39-36. The Orange closed to 47-48 on a short jumper by Battle with 11:51 left.
The Orange took its first lead since a 5-3 margin, 50-48, on a 3 by Hughes and extended it to a six-point advantage on a floater by Brissett. Two consecutive 3s by Hughes kept the margin at six with under seven minutes to go. Malinowski’s third straight 3 brought the Hoyas to 60-59, and a free throw by Josh LeBlanc tied the score at 60. A 3 by Jahvon Blair and two free throws by Malinowski gave the Hoyas a 65-62 cushion with 4:50 remaining.
After a free throw by LeBlanc gave the Hoyas a 66-64 lead, Jalen Carey hit a desperation 3 with 2:35 left to give Syracuse a 67-66 lead. Govan’s jumper made it 68-67 Hoyas, but a 3 by Battle gave Syracuse a 70-68 edge with 1:28 to go.
The atmosphere was vintage Georgetown-Syracuse.
“The fans were absolutely phenomenal once we started playing well,” Boeheim said. “They really got into the game and made a big difference in the game.”
“The atmosphere was great. The crowd was into the game,” said Ewing, who said he barely remembered the hostile crowds he encountered three decades ago. This was something I’d love to continue.”
McClung scored 13 points and Govan added nine, leading the Hoyas to a 35-22 halftime lead. The Orange’s output represented the second-fewest points scored by Syracuse in a half in the Carrier Dome’s 38-year history.
Syracuse is undefeated since point guard Frank Howard’s return, but the senior continues to struggle. He fouled out scoring just four points and registering three assists.
After scoring just 22 points on 7-of-28 shooting and a meager 1 of 14 from 3 in the first half, the Orange scored 50 points in the second half on 18-of-30 shooting, including 7 of 14 from long range.
TURNING IT OVER
Georgetown committed 15 turnovers, with Syracuse scoring 19 points off the miscues.
Georgetown: This one will sting for a long time. The Hoyas seemed firmly in control but let this one slip away. They’ll have one week to get shrug it off.
Syracuse: The Orange will need to play with the intensity they displayed in the second half. Jalen Carey gave Syracuse a much-needed spark off the bench subbing for the foul-plagued Frank Howard.
Georgetown hosts Southern Methodist on Saturday.
Syracuse’s string of seven straight home games continues Saturday against Old Dominion.
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