No. 17 Georgetown tops Syracuse
Rodgers scores 18 points for second-round Big East win
HARTFORD, Conn. -- Sugar Rodgers scored 18 points to help No. 17 Georgetown edge Syracuse 61-60 Saturday in the second round of the Big East tournament.
The Hoyas (22-9) will face top-ranked Connecticut on Sunday in the quarterfinals.
Georgetown was befuddled for most of the game by a junk defense used by Syracuse. The Orange were daring anyone but Rodgers or Monica McNutt to beat them.
The ploy worked as Syracuse led for most of the game until Georgetown finally started hitting shots.
With the game tied at 57 with 16 seconds left, Alexa Roche made the first of two free throws. The ball went out of bounds off Syracuse giving the Hoyas another possession. Rodgers was fouled on the inbounds and hit one of two free throws to make it 59-57.
Syracuse (22-9) had a chance, but Erica Morrow turned the ball over with 8.6 seconds left and Rubylee Wright hit two free throws to seal the win.
Elashier Hall hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the final margin. She finished with 16 points to lead the Orange.
Syracuse could have used another victory versus a ranked team to strengthen its chances at a NCAA tournament bid.
Trailing 27-22 at the half, McNutt and Rodgers scored the first nine points for the Hoyas to cut their deficit to 32-31. Syracuse responded by getting the next 10 points.
Hall hit two 3-pointers during the spurt. Her second one gave the Orange an 11-point lead - their biggest of the game - with just under 14 minutes left.
Syracuse would only hit two baskets the rest of the game until Hall's shot at the buzzer.
Rodgers' two free throws with 3:58 left gave the Hoyas a 54-53 lead - their first since they opened the game by scoring 14 of the first 16 points.
The teams exchanged free throws over the next 3 minutes. Kayla Alexander was fouled with 17.7 seconds left and Syracuse down 57-56. She hit the first free throw but her second rolled out.
Roche got the rebound and was fouled setting up the finish.
The victory was Georgetown coach Terri Williams-Flournoy's first in the Big East tournament. She had lost her first three tries.