first_img Published on February 25, 2011 at 12:00 pm Comments WASHINGTON — This version of Syracuse vs. Georgetown was supposed to be about two rival teams surging, led by two of the top point guards in the Big East.Instead, Georgetown had just two days to strategize for Syracuse after its floor leader, Chris Wright, underwent surgery on his left hand Thursday. And all Wright could do was watch as SU point guard Scoop Jardine stole the show and guided the Orange to a 58-51 victory inside the Verizon Center.‘It was tough,’ Wright said. ‘I didn’t want to miss games, but I was just there trying to support my team and do whatever I can.’Wright broke the metacarpal bone in his left, nonshooting hand when he collided with Cincinnati guard Cashmere Wright in a loss to the Bearcats. Ruled out for the final home game of his career at Georgetown, Wright was relegated to the end of the Hoyas bench with his hand wrapped in a soft cast.There wasn’t much he could do.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘Chris Wright is their leader. He gets their offense going,’ Jardine said. ‘It hurts them a lot. I feel bad for him seeing him there, and I know he wanted to play in this game. It hurts them a whole lot.’As Georgetown’s second-leading scorer, Wright is averaging 13.1 points and 5.4 assists on the season. But during the three games prior to his injury, the senior scored 21.7 points per game and was a major reason Georgetown won eight Big East games in a row.In Wright’s absence, freshman Markel Starks was thrust into 24 minutes of action — more than twice as many minutes he has played in any league game this season. When Starks wasn’t on the floor, guards Jason Clark and Austin Freeman found themselves in the unfamiliar position of handling the ball and initiating the offense.Although Georgetown hung around, riding a wave of emotion on Senior Day, Wright’s presence was noticeably absent from the game.‘Obviously Chris Wright not playing is a huge, huge thing,’ Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. ‘I hope he’s all right. I hope he can come back because Georgetown is obviously one of the best teams in our league when he’s playing. That’s a huge loss.’Without Wright, Georgetown turned the ball over 16 times and scored its second-lowest point total of the season on 36 percent shooting. Its lowest point total came Thursday against Cincinnati, when Wright left the game early.Though the Hoyas stayed in the contest and made their runs, the offense was clearly stagnant. Down the stretch, when Georgetown needed a basket, it couldn’t seem to find any open looks and shot 0-for-5 from the field during the final 2:47.‘At points, we were holding the ball a bit too long looking for something,’ Freeman said. ‘We were just looking for each other and holding the ball too long.’With their biggest wave of momentum, the Hoyas took their second lead of the game with 10:00 left to play. But Jardine kept coming. SU subsequently reeled off a 9-1 run of its own, capped by a pull-up 3-pointer by Jardine at the top of the key to give the Orange a six-point advantage.Each time Georgetown made a serious run, Jardine and the Orange answered right back. Jardine finished with a game-high 17 points and seven assists against the freshman Starks.‘He managed the game for them,’ Georgetown head coach John Thompson III said. ‘He controlled the game for them, and then when we made a run, he answered with some key buckets.’Georgetown now finds itself in an apparent freefall in the Big East standings after losing three of its last four games. But in the locker room after the game, Jardine was adamant Georgetown is still very much a contender in the conference.Wright still may return for postseason play, and from where Jardine stood, the Hoyas aren’t hanging their heads after losing their leader.‘I don’t care of they’re good or they’re bad, they’re still going to come out and play with everything they’ve got,’ Jardine said. ‘They lost their leader, but they still came out and gave us their best shot.’[email protected]center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img