Kris Joseph scored a career-high 29 points, the rest of the Orange scored 35, but the senior's final three with 29 seconds left proved to be the game-winner.
"For some reason they left me open, maybe they didn't see the last four or five go in," said Joseph, who lined up an open shot after a feed from Scoop Jardine. "I felt it going in and I was ready for it."
In a game that started slow despite plenty of open shots both ways, Georgetown was able to hold and secure the lead for the majority of the opening 20 minutes thanks to dominating play inside. Not only did the Hoyas rebound at nearly a 2:1 ratio, but they scored more than half of their points in the paint. Syracuse held tough by taking care of the ball. The Orange turned it over just twice in the opening half, though baskets were hard to come by. The squad shot under 30 percent from the field despite 12 first-half points from Joseph.
Ironically, the thing that stifled the Orange was the 2-3 zone, something the team is known for utilizing.
"We just did not attack their zone," said Coach Jim Boeheim. "We play against it every day – you would think we could attack it…we couldn't really make much.
"Kris bailed us out."
Syracuse got the message an attacked in the second half, scoring the period's first eight points. The Hoyas responded with four straight to tie things back up, and the back-and-fourth pace continued down the stretch.
The rebounding issues continued to plague the Orange when it looked like it would break the game open, something that has become only more of a concern of late for Boeheim.
"This was a game that they got out on the boards from the beginning, and that's just a disaster for us.
"Getting out-rebounded 17 rebounds again, this is a disaster game as far as I'm concerned."
Despite the issues, Joseph continued to assert himself from long range on the way to a season-high in three-pointers made as well.
Even still, Georgetown was persistent late.
Jason Clark hit a big three to get the Hoyas within one, and Greg Whittington split a pair of free throws to tie the game before Fab Melo blocked the ensuing shot attempt. With the last possession in hand, the Orange turned to Dion Waiters, who missed a contested jumper at the buzzer.
"I thought I was going to get it sooner, then be able to break him down," said Waiters. "Then I could get to the rack or pull up…but I didn't and when I got the ball I was losing it.
"It was kind of falling out of my hand and I just put it up."
In the overtime session, the pace continued as did the trends between the longtime rivals. Joseph scored, Clark and Otto Porter answered. In the final minute, the score was tied for the 15th time on the night.
Syracuse called timeout and Jardine let the clock wind-down before finding a wide-open Joseph for a corner three.
"When I got it back, there were 13 seconds on the clock, I wanted to get something…" said Jardine. "I came off the pick-and-roll and Fab came really hard to suck the defense in and Kris' man actually went back to Fab.
"I made it look like I was going to Fab and Kris was wide open by himself – he made a big shot."
The conversion got the crowd to its loudest point of the night with just 21 seconds left in the overtime session.
Clark bobbled the ball while trying to set up the offense on the ensuing possession, and Jardine was able to knock it off of Clark's leg to get the Orange in position to ice the game with free-throws and a handful of ticks remaining.
Waiters missed both shots, but Georgetown settled for a three-quarter of the court heave since they didn't have a timeout remaining.