MBB : Fair enjoys breakout game; Georgetown wins 1st at Dome since 2002

first_img Published on February 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm Cheers in unison broke out for freshman C.J. Fair. For the niche player who keeps to himself, Wednesday was his Carrier Dome coming-out party.After a road trip during which the mild-mannered freshman amplified his role as a lengthy, heady player for Syracuse, Fair was doing the same in front of the Dome crowd. His name was chanted by the crowd of 26,904. When he was whistled for a foul in the second half, they howled in his defense.And why not? He had perhaps his best game in the Dome: 12 points, five rebounds and two blocks.‘I just try to help the team as best I can,’ Fair said. ‘I know my job. Not to come out here and try to be the leading scorer and all that stuff. On defense, when I get in the game, try to get us going.’Fair sparked the Orange off the bench Wednesday. On a night when Syracuse’s most dependable player — Rick Jackson — wasn’t dependable, Fair stepped up, even if the final result was a 64-56 Syracuse loss.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut to Fair and SU wing Kris Joseph, it’s no surprise. Joseph said he isn’t a freshman any longer, the same honor the junior bestowed on freshman Baye Moussa Keita after defeating Connecticut last week. Fair hasn’t been a freshman in Joseph’s eyes for a while. He is doing what he has always been able to bring to the table.‘He finds his spot and he executes,’ Joseph said. ‘He takes advantage of his opportunity. If he has the opportunity to score the basketball, he will try to make a play.’Fair was effective for the third straight game Wednesday, but it was the first at home. After missing three games earlier in the season with an ankle injury, Fair excelled on SU’s last road trip. He had seven points, nine rebounds and three blocks against South Florida on Saturday. He registered six points, four rebounds, a block and a steal against Connecticut last Wednesday.The play that yielded the student section’s loudest cheers for Fair was the longest possession in the game. With 57 seconds remaining in the first half, Georgetown worked the shot clock as Chris Wright missed a 3. Julian Vaughn grabbed an offensive board only to have Fair swat it away emphatically.The Hoyas would eventually hit a 3. But in the time it took for the refs to retrieve the ball and for Georgetown to convert, Fair’s name was already ringing through the Dome. Due to his relentlessness.Said Joseph: ‘Even if he misses, he will try to be aggressive.’Syracuse loses to archrival at home for first time in nine yearsJohn Thompson III didn’t start his opening remarks with anything that took place during Wednesday’s 64-56 win over Syracuse. He didn’t begin by talking about his team’s seventh Big East win in a row.Instead, Thompson talked about the Syracuse-Georgetown rivalry and how he just won his first game ever inside the Carrier Dome.Thompson referenced the date Feb. 13, 1980, and repeated the words of his father, John Thompson Jr., who on that date said the infamous words, ‘Manley Field House is closed.’ He said it was one of the most significant and talked-about moments in Big East history.And although his father was the one who ‘closed’ Manley Field House with a win in the old arena’s final SU-Georgetown basketball game, the younger Thompson had never won at the Dome in his seven seasons leading the Hoyas.He said coming into this game, he was well aware of that.‘This is my seventh year, and this is my first win up here,’ Thompson said. ‘So I’ve been thinking the last couple years that the man upstairs said, ‘OK, he closed down Manley, but your ancestors, your lineage, none of them are going to win at the new place.’‘Me and the man upstairs had a little talk this week, and I’m glad he lifted whatever dust he sprinkled on top of us.’Syracuse against Georgetown, Thompson said, is what the Big East is all about. It helped foster what is now considered by many to be the best college basketball conference in the country.After six tries, Thompson finally notched a victory inside the Dome. After years of trying, it was this year’s senior-heavy group that broke through and won.‘It feels good,’ Georgetown guard Chris Wright said. ‘It was something we focused on, and not only was it coach’s first time, but it was our first time, too. We just did what we had to do to win the game.’[email protected]@syr.edu Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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