By Michael McAllister
A game between two ranked teams is a big enough game on its own. A game with the regular season conference title on the line is also big. Combine both of those with the Syracuse/Georgetown rivalry and you have an epic battle on your hands. In 1990, that's exactly what took place in the Carrier Dome.
The game featured historic moments. John Thompson received three technical fouls and was ejected, Syracuse had a 10-point possession, Billy Owens' free throws to send the game into overtime, and Stevie Thompson's game winning layup.
From the L.A. times:
So it was appropriate that they combined for one of their biggest wins in their last game at the Carrier Dome, an 89-87 overtime victory over Georgetown to clinch a tie for the Big East title.
They got considerable help from Georgetown Coach John Thompson, whose ejection resulted in a big Syracuse turnaround in the first half.
Stephen Thompson's layup off a feed from Coleman provided the winning points after Billy Owens sank two free throws with one second left to send the game into overtime. The win gave the 10th-ranked Orangemen (22-5 overall) a tie for the Big East regular-season title with Connecticut at 12-4.
Coach Thompson's outburst with 2:14 left in the first half was the main factor in a 15-point Syracuse run that turned a 36-30 Georgetown lead into a 45-36 deficit.
Thompson was called by Jim Burr for complaining about a foul on Dwayne Bryant and assessed a second technical by Larry Lembo for leaving the coaches' box. Pete Pavia called the third, resulting in automatic ejection, when Thompson came onto the court.
Coleman made both foul shots to cut Georgetown's lead to 36-35. He then made five of six technicals and Owens made the three-pointer. Thompson dunked off a steal and Syracuse had a 45-36 advantage before Georgetown (22-5, 11-5) scored the final four points of the half to trim the lead to 45-40.
It would have been difficult to convince many of the celebrators that the direct result of Syracuse's gripping 89-87 overtime victory over the Georgetown Hoyas was only an advantageous position in the conference tournament.
But Stephen Thompson, the Syracuse senior whose layup with 25 seconds remaining in overtime eventually became the difference, was able to look far enough beyond his happiness to understand. ''The only thing this does for us is we don't have to face Connecticut or Georgetown in the semifinals,'' Thompson said. ''If we get by the first round.''
In this demanding corner of the Big East Conference, where too much is not enough, the Orangemen avoided the consequences that would have resulted from a loss to a team that operated without its head coach for the last 27 minutes 14 seconds of the game.
After being helped by a bizarre 10-point sequence late in the first half - the result of three technical fouls against the Hoyas' coach, John Thompson, his second ejection in 18 Georgetown seasons and his first in more than 15 years - the Orangemen overcame the disappearance of a 9-point second-half lead to force an overtime on Billy Owens's two foul shots with a second to play in regulation.
With 25 seconds to go in the overtime, just 5 seconds on the shot clock and the Syracuse lead down to a point, Derrick Coleman, who scored 27 points and had 13 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals, found Stephen Thompson for the layup that resulted in the decisive points for Syracuse.
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