NEW YORK – Junior C.J. Fair recorded his 1,000th career point with a slam in the overtime period to help #19/20 Syracuse knock off #5/5 Georgetown in a 58-55 decision in the semifinal round of the BIG EAST Tournament in Madison Square Garden on Friday evening.
The victory marks the 11th time that SU and Georgetown have played each other three times in one season. The last time the two teams met three times was in 2009-10, with Syracuse defeating the Hoyas in 2-of-3 outings.
Senior Brandon Triche put the Orange ahead by two early in the overtime period, followed by another bucket from junior Baye Moussa Keita to give SU a four-point lead at 55-51. After Hopkins failed to convert a three-point play, junior C.J. Fair answered with his 1000th career point, slamming the ball into to net to put Syracuse ahead by four at 57-53 with less than a minute remaining.
Leading by two at 47-45 with less than four minutes remaining, junior Baye Moussa Keita gave the Orange a four-point cushion with a pair of free throws. D'vauntes Smith Rivera then cut the lead in half with a jumper to settle the score at 49 47.
With the game tied at 49-49, Moussa Keita brought SU ahead by two at 51-49 with less than two minutes remaining in the game. Porter responded with two free throws with seven seconds remaining to send the contest into overtime.
Georgetown began clawing its way back when Mikael Hopkins opened the second half with a pair of buckets to trim the advantage to seven points. Southerland answered with back-to-back 3-pointers to bring the Orange ahead by 12 points at 37-25 with 16:15 remaining in the game.
The Hoyas kept fighting, moving within five points of the lead at 37-32, helped out by five straight points from Markel Starks. Senior Brandon Triche halted the stretch with a three-point play and a three ball, pulling Syracuse ahead by 11 with 11:36 left in the game.
The Orange found itself facing an early four-point deficit just two minutes into the contest before senior James Southerland drained his first three-pointer of the night and then converted on a free throw for a four-point play to tie the game at 6-6. The Hoyas managed to pull away with their largest lead of the half at 13-8 after a 7-2 spurt gave Georgetown a five-point advantage.
With both clubs having trouble taking the lead, Southerland netted his second three ball of the half to knot the score at 17-17 with 8:04 remaining in the opening frame. Redshirt freshman Trevor Cooney followed with a clutch three-pointer to lift the Orange ahead, 20-17.
SU continued to build on its advantage, using a 12-3 run to enter the intermission ahead the Hoyas by nine points at 29-20. Cooney led Syracuse during the scoring streak with five points, including his second three-pointer of the game that gave the Orange its largest lead of the half at 27-17 with 2:54 remaining in the opening frame.