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Orange Struggles Down the Stretch Again, Falls to St. John’s 69-57

Michael Gbinije gets his first start of his career at SU in loss to Red Storm.

Syracuse has a guard problem. Jim Boeheim tried something new at the position tonight against St. John’s but had similar results. Kaleb Joseph played the majority of the first half but was replaced for most of the second by Michael Gbinije. Both players struggled and SU lost in the Dome, 69-57.

Syracuse does not have a reliable point guard at the moment, but that is no excuse for shooting 13% from three-point range. That’s horrendous. Trevor Cooney did not hit a single three and no other SU guard hit more than a single three in the game. On the other side St. John’s shot 56% from long range. That was the difference tonight. Boeheim finished his postgame press conference by saying, “We gotta make some shots or we’re gonna lose.” SU won’t win too many games shooting 13% from deep and Boeheim knows it.

Syracuse went on a 13-2 run to take a three-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, but in crunch time Boeheim’s team lacked a go-to scorer. There was no flow to the offense at the end of the game and St. John’s took advantage and went on an 11-2 run of their own to win the game. SU was getting by without a traditional point guard up until that point. The Johnnies did an excellent job of exposing that weakness at the end of the game.

Inside, it was another excellent game from Rakeem Christmas and a solid performance from Chris McCullough. Christmas had 15 points and 15 rebounds against a solid defender in St. John’s center, Chris Obekpa. McCullough added 13 points and eight rebounds, but missed seven free throws. Forward Tyler Roberson did not play in the game because he did not practice yesterday due to injury.

SU’s forwards looked good, but the guards must improve against Louisiana Tech next weekend. Tonight’s performance was not good enough.

Posted: Connor Morrissette

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.

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