SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Fortunes change quickly in the Big East. On Saturday the Hoyas were the talk of the town, having knocked off the best team in the conference, then-No. 8 Pittsburgh, to take over the top spot in the Big East. But little more than 48 hours after celebrating their biggest win of the year, the No. 9 Hoyas (22-6, 12-3 Big East) had to watch as Syracuse fans stormed the court in the Carrier Dome, jubilant over the unranked Orange’s (21-8, 10-5) own biggest win of the season – a 72-58 upset of Georgetown. “I think we picked the wrong night to have our worst day of the year,” Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III said after his Hoyas shot a season-low 29.8 percent from the field. “And they picked a good night to have a very good day.” Propelled by a 14-0 run midway through the second half, the Orange blew by the Hoyas, snapping their 11-game win streak and handing them their first loss in six weeks. The Orange, on a five-game win streak of their own, moved into a tie with Notre Dame for fourth place in the Big East. “It’s not nice to lose, it’s not nice to lose, it’s not nice to lose – having played poorly,” Thompson said about the end of the Hoyas’ winning streak. The Hoyas, who moved into the top 10 for the first time since November, will have a short stay at the top of the rankings. And Syracuse, a team on the NCAA tournament bubble, bolstered its tourney prospects with its second win over a ranked opponent this year. “Two weeks ago, we didn’t deserve to be in [the NCAA tournament],” Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim said. “I’m proud of my kids. This game was the culmination. We knew five games ago we had to win and play well. The seniors deserve a lot of credit. This was our best game.” On senior night, Syracuse senior forward Demetris Nichols made his last home-game count, leading all scorers with 22 points. Three other Orange finished in double digits, including sophomore guard Andy Rautins, who finished with 13 on a crucial 4-for-8 performance from downtown, and sophomore guard Eric Devendorf, who tallied 11 points and dished out a season-high 11 assists. On a terrible night offensively, the Hoyas were paced by two unlikely leaders, freshman forward DaJuan Summers and junior reserve forward Patrick Ewing Jr., who finished with 10 points each. Georgetown’s usual leaders, juniors forward Jeff Green, center Roy Hibbert and guard Jonathan Wallace, combined for just 22 points – a point total Hibbert alone has posted on three occasions this year. “We didn’t box out, we let them go on runs, we didn’t go on our [runs] – we let them just keep getting momentum,” Green – who is coming off back-to-back Big East player of the week awards – said, listing off all the Hoyas’ mistakes. “They made the hustle plays, we didn’t. . We didn’t make our shots – they made theirs. And that’s how they got the 20-point lead.” Georgetown did not look like the second-best shooting team in the nation. The Hoyas had their worst offensive performance since their season opener against Hartford, and seemed unable to bury a basket in the second half as the inside shots the Hoyas usually make fell the other way. And the Orange made the Hoyas pay for all the trips down the court that came up empty. During the 14-0 run that lasted for four minutes, Nichols and Rautins each drilled two treys and gave Syracuse a double-digit lead it would never relinquish. On the night, Syracuse scored 25 points of turnovers, while Georgetown had just six. “We got shots that guys normally make that didn’t go in tonight,” Thompson said. “It was because of them, it was because of their defense, but for long stretches we got the looks, we got the shots that we wanted, and the ball didn’t go in. And at the other end they had a stretch where they hit four threes in a row and that was it. You can’t let that happen on the road.” For two original members of the Big East, Monday night was an old-school battle, a throwback to the earlier days of the conference. Ugly, dirty, angry and full of drama, Georgetown and Syracuse went at it all night long. Neither team played a pretty game, missing shots, turning the ball over and picking up a lot of fouls. Five Georgetown players picked up three fouls – Summers, Green, Hibbert, Ewing and sophomore guard Jesse Sapp – and senior center Darryl Watkins fouled out for the Orange, with Rautins and Devendorf picking up four personal fouls each as well. There were also technical fouls handed out – a rarity for Georgetown, but a demonstration of the intensity of the rivalry between the two winningest programs in the Big East. Thompson picked up the first when he disagreed with a foul called against Wallace, and later Devendorf and Georgetown junior guard Tyler Crawford were handed offsetting technical fouls for jawing at each other soon after Crawford entered the game. After a short turnaround to get ready for Syracuse, the Hoyas will have nearly a week to regroup from their worst loss of the season. Georgetown plays host to Connecticut (17-11, 6-8 Big East) on Saturday at Verizon Center. The game presents a solid chance for the Hoyas to capture their first win over the Huskies since 1997. Connecticut, which has struggled this year, will play host to Villanova on Wednesday before traveling to Washington, D.C. The Huskies have already clinched a spot in the Big East tournament, but will look to follow in Syracuse’s footsteps and upset the Hoyas to improve its already-long shot at dancing in March. Georgetown, meanwhile, will want the victory to clinch at least a share of the Big East regular season title and the top seed in the conference tourney. Tip-off against Connecticut is set for noon on Saturday. The game will air on CBS.

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