Jim Boeheim couldn't remember it ever being this easy against Georgetown on the road.
In need of a victory to stop a two-game losing skid, the Syracuse coach watched his 20th-ranked Orangemen take a 16-point lead at halftime against the usually stingy Hoyas."You score 45 points down here in the first half against Georgetown," Boeheim said. "That might be a record for anybody coming down here."
Actually, it is the most first-half points anyone has scored against the Hoyas since they moved to the new MCI Center last month. And, with Georgetown undermanned, it wasn't too difficult for Syracuse to finish the job in the second half for an 84-66 victory.
From the first possession, there was no hiding Boeheim's offensive strategy: Attack the middle early and often against a Hoyas team missing injured centers Jahidi White and Ruben Boumtje Boumtje.
The beneficiary was sophomore center Etan Thomas, who scored the first six points for his team and surpassed his career high before the end of the first half. He had 17 points at the break and finished with 23.
Thomas was 8-for-11 from the field and 7-for-10 from the line. The Big East's leader in blocked shots, Thomas batted away six more for the Orangemen (16-4, 6-3 Big East).
The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for Georgetown (11-7, 4-6), which is danger of finishing with a losing record in Big East play for only the second time in the John Thompson era.
NO. 11 PRINCETON 59, COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY 50: At Princeton, N.J., Brian Earl scored five of his 16 points in an 8-0 run to start the second half and lead Princeton (14-1) over Division III College of New Jersey. It was Princeton's first game after a 16-day layoff.
NO. 13 SOUTH CAROLINA 79, FURMAN 52: At Greenville, S.C., BJ McKie scored 14 of his 16 points in the first half, including three of South Carolina's season-high 11 3-pointers as the Gamecocks (14-3) ran past Furman.