Syracuse’s tough season continues after the Orange was defeated by the Miami Hurricanes in the Carrier Dome today.
Free throws killed the Orange once again down the stretch, going 8-19 from the stripe. Syracuse cannot afford to lose close games like this one, especially at home and with a very tough schedule left. “If you’re in tough games like this, if you don’t make free throws, you are not going to win,” said Coach Boeheim after the game.
Rakeem Christmas led Syracuse in scoring with 23 points, while Trevor Cooney and Tyler Roberson also had double-digit point totals. Michael Gbinije struggled at the free throw line late. Gbinije said after the game, “I’m not being consistent from the free throw line and I have to make sure I am shooting the same shot every time and just focus.”
Tonye Jekiri was a major factor for the Hurricanes in the paint. The big man finished with 13 points and 15 boards. Transfer Angel Rodriguez was almost non-existent for the first 20 minutes but came alive in the 2nd half. The point guard made clutch free throws late in the game and finished with 8 assists.
One positive of the game was the Orange not getting into foul trouble early. The Orange only had two team fouls in the 1st half, allowing them to play much more aggressive defense in the 2nd half. Defense kept Syracuse in this game but the offense did not have a big enough answer for the Hurricanes.
Boeheim was not happy when asked about the postseason and how each loss is hurting Syracuse’s chances more and more. “Somebody has to decide that at the end of the year. There are always tough calls. We just have to play and put ourselves in position and whatever happens, happen,” said Boeheim. Getting into position at this point would mean pulling off a few upsets against the meat of the ACC.
Syracuse now looks ahead to a primetime matchup with the North Carolina Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. Every game from here on out becomes crucial for tournament hopes in March.
Posted: Zephan Mayell