SYRACUSE Add Otto Porter Jr. to the list of Georgetown stars who have tormented Syracuse fans throughout the long and historic Big East Conference rivalry between the Hoyas and Orange.
Making a good case for conference Player of the Year honors, the 6-foot-8 sophomore forward single-handedly helped the hated Hoyas end SUs nation-best, 38-game Carrier Dome win streak Saturday with a magnificent 33-point performance in Georgetowns 57-46 Big East victory.
Not only did Porters career-best performance come in front of a disappointed record NCAA on-campus crowd of 35,012 in the Hoyas final visit, it propelled No. 11 Georgetown to its ninth straight win, helped the Hoyas (21-4 overall, 10-3 league) take over sole possession of first place in the Big East, and dropped the No. 8 Orange (22-5, 10-4) into a tie for second with Marquette and Louisville.
He was dominant, thats all you can say, SU coach Boeheim said of Porters performance. We knew he was a really good player, but that was great. His teammates really looked for him and made the extra pass to get him the ball. And then he made almost everything.
Porter, who is the reigning Big East Player of the Week, went 12-for-19 from the floor, was 5 of 10 on 3-pointers, and 4-for-4 at the foul line while playing all 40 minutes. He also grabbed eight rebounds.
The rest of the team shot just 7-for-35 and 2-for-21 on threes, and no other Hoya scored more than seven points. So Porter was obviously the difference-maker for the streaking Hoyas.
I guess I did pretty good, but I also missed some open shots, said Porter, a preseason All-Big East pick who was averaging 15.1 points per game. Our guards did a tremendous job of finding me for a lot of open looks. And I just think we kept our poise throughout the game under tough conditions.
Porter scored 16 points in the first half, and 17 in the second half when the Hoyas pulled away.
Otto has been very consistent, but he was extra special today, said Georgetown coach John Thompson III. Hes starting to turn his game up a notch toward the end of the season and has been looking for his shot a lot more.
The Hoyas were also the last team to beat SU in the Dome, earning a 64-56 win here on Feb. 9, 2011.
The Orange do not have long to dwell on this loss. SU has a Monday night date at Marquette, which lost 60-56 at Villanova on Saturday. The Orange then returns home to host Louisville in a big game next Saturday.
The Orange, which was led by C. J. Fair and James Southerland with 13 points each, simply could not sustain an offense against Georgetowns man-to-man defense and especially the Hoyas zone defense. SU was held to a season low in points, nine less than they tallied in a loss at Pittsburgh.
And they shot just 34 percent from the floor, the second worst of the season, including 4-for-20 on 3-pointers.
Its disappointing not to come out with a win with that kind of atmosphere, said Fair, who also had seven rebounds. Porter just a found a rhythm that we never did.
Boeheim reiterated that in all of our losses, we didnt make shots. Today was no difference. I think we settled from some longer threes and didnt attack their zone very well at times.
SU began the game on a 12-4 run as Triche and Southerland hit back-to-back 3-pointers. But once Georgetown switched to a zone, the Orange managed just one hoop over a nine-minute span and fell behind 21-15.
Only an 8-0 run to end the first half got the Orange into a 23-21 lead. But Georgetown seized the momentum early in the second half, scoring the first five points.
SU rallied to tie it a 29-all with 13:40 left in the game. But Porter hit a 3-pointer, Nate Lubick scored on a layup, Porter added a 15-footer and DVauntes Rivera-Smith nailed his only three of the game to propel Georgetown into a 39-31 lead just two minutes later.
The Orange did not score again until Michael Carter-Williams converted a three-point play at the 8:28 mark.
We probably took some bad threes in key situations, said Brandon Triche, who scored 10 points on 4-for-13 shooting and was 1 of 7 on threes. And those misses are magnified in a low-scoring game.
SU drew to within 41-37 as the clock wound down under five minutes. But it was that man, Porter who finally finished off the Orange.
As the shot clock wound down, he chucked up a deep wing 3-pointer that went in, was fouled, and made the free throw.
I dont know how that one went in because I kind of just threw it, Porter said. But when things are going good, those things happen.
The Orange never really threatened again, having to gamble on defense and shoot quickly on offense.
Overall, our initial defense was very good, Boeheim said. But when we did have breakdowns by not tagging Porter, he made us pay.