Charles Nailen/The Hoya The Hoyas lost their fourth straight and remained winless on the road last night at Syracuse.

Leave it to an old rival to kick you when you’re down.

After losing six of their last seven games, the Hoyas staggered into the Carrier Dome still searching for their first road victory of the season. Two hours later, the Hoyas limped away from their sixth road loss of the season, falling to rival Syracuse 88-80.

In the past, Syracuse’s zone defense has normally limited Georgetown’s post-oriented offense to harmless shots from the perimeter while the Hoyas’ suffocating man-to-man stymied the Orangemen. Monday, however, Georgetown moved the ball regularly to junior Mike Sweetney, but the Hoyas could not weather the Orangemen’s sustained offensive attack and fell away late in the second half.

With 10 minutes remaining in the second half, Syracuse’s sophomore forward Hakim Warrick went on a personal 8-2 run, including two three-point plays, to turn a four-point game into a 69-59 Orangmen lead, and the Hoyas never again drew closer than six.

For the second straight game, Georgetown (10-8, 2-6) had no answer for its opponent’s guard play. After senior guard Matt Carroll and sophomore guard Chris Thomas scored a combined 60 points in Saturday’s loss to Notre Dame, Syracuse’s freshmen tandem of Gerry McNamara and Carmello Anthony abused the Hoya defense for 44. The duo hit a combined six of 13 shots from behind the three-point arc and 18-for-21 from the foul line to carry the Orangemen (15-3, 6-2) to their highest point total of the season against a Big East team.

Senior guard Kueth Duany added 15 points for Syracuse, while Warrick finished with 11. Freshman guard Billy Edelin contributed 10 points coming off the bench.

Though Georgetown would never lead after the 11:35 mark in the first half, the Hoyas never relented, despite trailing by margins of 11 in the first half and 13 in the second.

As usual, Georgetown relied on Sweetney’s offensive prowess. The power forward proved unstoppable once he gained possession, scoring 32 points to lead all scorers. The pre-season All-American also pulled down 13 rebounds and fell just three blocks shy of what would have been his first career triple-double.

Sweetney’s 32-point effort marks the third time this season that he has surpassed the 30-point barrier (West Virginia, Notre Dame), and the first time he has done so in regulation.

Junior Gerald Riley added 15 points, while Tony Bethel added 12 points along with a career-high nine assists. Senior Victor Samnick started for the first time this season in place of an injured Wesley Wilson, who did not make the trip to Syracuse due to back spasms. Samnick finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.

The Hoyas showed uncharacteristic adeptness getting the ball inside against the 2-3 zone, often finding Sweetney near the foul line and then swinging it to Samnick in the low post for the layup. onday’s 80 points marks the Hoyas’ highest point total against the Orangemen since an 83-64 victory in the 1995-96 season.

Defensively, however Georgetown could not contain a hot-handed Syracuse offense that shot 49.1 percent from the floor and 46.7 percent from three-point range.

However, the difference maker may have come at the foul line where the Hoyas squandered 11-of-23 chances, for a 52.2 percent average from the stripe. Conversely, of the last 20 points Syracuse scored in the final eight minutes and five seconds, 16 came from the foul line.

Georgetown will take a break from its conference schedule to face UCLA at MCI Center Saturday. Last season the Hoyas fell to the Bruins 98-91.

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