Syracuse, N.Y. - For the 96th time, Syracuse and Georgetown battled in out in one of the greatest college basketball rivalries.
This year, the energy in the arena was different without fans in the stands but also without former Georgetown head coach and basketball legend John Thompson who passed away last year.
In tribute, head coach Jim Boeheim wore a towel over his shoulder during the playing of the national anthem.
"The reason we have so many Black head coaches is because of John Thompson. Not only was he a good coach, he set an example and pushed and pushed right until his last year he was pushing all the time for African-American coaches," said Boeheim.
Shooting nearly 50 percent from the field in the first half led the Orange to a 13 point lead at the break.
Late in the second half the Hoyas would go on an 11-4 run to get within four points of the Orange.
A chase-down block from Syracuse redshirt sophomore Robert Braswell on Georgetown’s Jahvon Blair at the rim resulted in a Boeheim three in transition which sparked momentum for Syracuse.
"The block with spectacular. Robert's a great jumper, it's just his knee is still bothering him and he's going to play through it as best he can. But that was the play of the game. Could've saved the game, we came right down and scored so that was a huge play," said Jim Boeheim post-game.
The Orange had four players in double-digit scoring: Boeheim 21, Girard III 18, Guerrier 12, Dolezaj 11.
Syracuse wins 74-69 and improves to a 7-2 record. Up next, the Orange hit the road to take on North Carolina on Tuesday, January 12 at 9:00 pm.