The Hoyas started off the Big East season with a bang, jumping out to a 31-18 halftime lead against Syracuse (12-3, 1-1) and holding on in the second half for an 80-73 win on Jan. 3 at McDonough Gymnasium. Junior guard Shanice Fuller led the way for Georgetown (11-3, 1-0) with a career-high 25 points, including 16 in the first half, to help clinch the Hoyas’ first victory in a Big East opener since the 1995-96 season.

A three-pointer from senior guard Karee Houlette on Georgetown’s second possession started the scoring, and Syracuse struggled to score early, with Georgetown’s stifling defense helping build leads of 7-0 and 22-5. The Orange failed to reach double digits until a three-pointer by sophomore guard Erica Morrow with 2:19 left cut the lead to 27-12. Syracuse shot only 23.1 percent from the field in the opening half, compared to Georgetown’s 36.4 percent, and the Hoyas had a seemingly comfortable 31-18 lead at the intermission.

Syracuse came out firing in the second half, shooting 7-of-11 from behind the arc and better than 50 percent from the field to tie the game 52-52 with just over nine minutes remaining. But Georgetown bounced back, with Fuller’s three-point play on the next possession giving the Hoyas a lead they would never relinquish. By the time Fuller fouled out with 1:02 remaining, the Hoyas led 74-66 and were well on their way to victory.

The Hoyas had previously recorded double-digit wins over Gardner-Webb (7-7), American (10-5) and Appalachian State (2-11) before falling 61-58 at the hands of N.C. State (8-7) on New Year’s Eve to finish non-conference play at 10-3.

Next up for Georgetown is a Saturday road trip to South Bend, Ind., where the Hoyas will face the tall task of trying to knock off No. 12 Notre Dame (13-1, 2-0). The Fighting Irish have won five straight and will be the toughest opponent the Hoyas have faced yet. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.