College Basketball: Georgetown at Syracuse - Georgetown Favored
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After taking over sole possession of the Big East lead, Georgetown looks for its first 12-game winning streak in 17 seasons Monday when it visits Syracuse - a Big East rival it has struggled against.
The 12th-ranked Hoyas (22-5, 12-2) overtook No. 10 Pittsburgh for first place with Saturday's 61-53 victory over the Panthers.
Georgetown, which has its longest win streak since a 14-game run during the 1989-90 season, hasn't lost since a 74-69 defeat at Pitt on Jan. 13.
Saturday's victory put Georgetown one game ahead of Pitt with two games remaining. The Panthers host 22nd-ranked West Virginia on Tuesday before visiting No. 16 Marquette on Saturday night, just hours after the Hoyas host Connecticut.
"You can't be unhappy about the position we're in - even I can't," said Georgetown coach John Thompson III, who's notoriously averse to commenting on his team's spot in the standings or rankings.
Thompson has stressed his team is still "growing up" this season, as evidenced by an uneven 11-5 start, but the Hoyas have a chance to move closer to their first outright regular season conference title since 1988-89.
A big key for this young Georgetown team has been the play of Jonathan Wallace, Jeff Green and Roy Hibbert, who combined for 43 points Saturday.
The three juniors are averaging double digits in points, with Green, who had 14 against Pitt, leading the squad with 13.7 points per game. He's averaged 18.8 in the last nine games.
Georgetown may need Green to continue that hot streak as it faces a Syracuse team it has defeated only once in the last seven meetings.
Green had 18 points in the lone victory, a 68-53 win at the Verizon Center last Feb. 25. The guard, however, shot 3-of-12 and scored 10 points in the next matchup March 10 - a 58-57 loss in the semifinals of the Big East tournament, which the Orange went on to win.
Georgetown hopes it can gain a measure of revenge Monday at the Carrier Dome, although the Hoyas are 1-7 there and haven't won at Syracuse since Feb. 24, 2002.
Streaking Syracuse (20-8, 9-5) will look to continue the trend against Georgetown as it tries to bolster its case for an NCAA tournament bid. A win over the Hoyas would give the Orange five straight victories for the first time since a season-high seven-game winning streak from Nov. 10-27.
The Orange defeated Providence 71-67 on Saturday, as Demetris Nichols made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 37 seconds to go before free throws by Paul Harris and Eric Devendorf sealed the victory.
Nichols has powered Syracuse offensively during the current win streak, averaging 20.8 points over the four games and scoring a career-high 37 in a 76-74 victory over St. John's on Feb. 11 that started the run. The senior forward leads the Big East with 18.9 points per game, including 20.1 at the Carrier Dome.
Syracuse is 15-4 at home, but three of the losses have come against ranked opponents. The Orange have won three straight home games since falling 103-91 to then-No. 21 Notre Dame on Jan. 30.
The Orange are 1-4 overall against Top 25 teams.
by: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us
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