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Syracuse continues home success against Georgetown

Feb 16, 2008 - 9:57 PM SYRACUSE, New York (Ticker) -- Paul Harris and freshman Donte Greene helped Syracuse continue its dominance over Georgetown in the Carrier Dome.

Harris scored 22 points and Greene added 18 as the Orange took control early and defeated the eighth-ranked Hoyas, 77-70, in the Big East Conference on Sunday.

It was the eighth win at home in the last nine meetings between the schools for Syracuse (17-9, 7-6 Big East), which broke the game open early to snap a two-game losing streak, including Wednesday's 89-78 loss at South Florida.

Trailing 8-6 in the early moments, Harris scored the next eight points, including a 3-pointer that gave the Orange a 14-8 lead at the 12:12 mark.

"We started out good defensively even though we didn't play well offensively," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "We forced a couple turnovers early, we were active, then we had our offense going and got control of it. Our defense was key in the first half, that was the real difference. Our offense was good but our defense was really the key."

Georgetown (20-4, 10-3) countered with a jumper by Jonathan Wallace, but Syracuse continued to roll, outscoring the Hoyas, 18-2, over the next six minutes to open a commanding 32-12 lead with six minutes left before the half.

Greene paced the run with eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Fellow freshman Jonny Flynn accounted for five points over that span, including a basket from the arc.

"Donte was good. He got a lot of good looks, all his shots were good looks," Boeheim said. "I think he could have a big game and he could bust out and have a real good game. The players screened for him, looked for him and he got a lot of good looks."

The Hoyas, who committed 12 turnovers in the first half, narrowed their deficit to 38-22 before the break on the strength of 3-pointers from DaJuan Summers and Wallace.

"We've been in some difficult places during the course of this year," said Georgetown coach John Thompson III whose team has lost three games on the road this season. "It didn't necessarily affect us.

"They may have gained a little energy and had a little more pep in their step and a little zest because of the crowd, but I don't think the crowd had anything to do with our turnovers."

Roy Hibbert, who missed much of the first half with two fouls, opened the second half with two field goals for Georgetown, which got within 43-34 in the first four minutes. Jessie Sapp and Wallace contributed 3-pointers in the opening minutes of the second half.

"It was good to see us regroup and bounce back, put together a decent half," Thompson said. "We shouldn't have been in that position. Road wins have been difficult. You can't be negligent in any area in our league this year."

Georgetown got as close as 55-50 with 7:25 remaining. But Greene countered with a 3-pointer and freshman Rick Jackson followed with a pair of free throws and the Hoyas did not get within seven points the rest of the way.

Harris converted 11-of-14 free throws and Greene ended up with four 3-pointers for Syracuse, which ended up with advantages in points in the paint (30-18) and fastbreak points (18-5).

Flynn finished with 17 points for the Orange, who shot 42 percent (23-of-55) from the floor.

Wallace led the Hoyas with a career-high 26 points and connected on 6-of-7 attempts from the arc. Summers added 14 while Hibbert and Sapp each had 11.

As a team, Georgetown shot 41 percent (24-of-54) from the field.

"The way we started the game, we weren't as tough on the road as we need to be playing against a team like Syracuse," Wallace said. "We've got to be strong with the basketball and more aggressive on offense and defense on the road. On the road, you pretty much have to make happen what you want to happen."