The Orange got the big win that it could not get over the weekend, beating No. 12 Louisville, 69-59, Wednesday at the Carrier Dome. Michael Gbinije and Tyler Roberson each turned in strong performances for the second straight game, but Rakeem Christmas put up what could have been his best game as a member of the program, at least according to Jim Boeheim.
After the game, Boeheim said this was the best Rak played this season. Christmas tallied 29 points, 8 rebounds, 4 blocks, and many altered shots on the defensive end. Not only that, but Rak missed just three shots, one from the field and two from the free throw line. Christmas’ game can really only be explained the way Boeheim did—spectacular.
Christmas turned in his highest point total since the double-overtime thriller against Wake Forest when he scored 35 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. But this game was even better all-around, and was up against stiffer competition. Rak and the SU bigs drew four fouls from Montrezl Harrell and forced Wayne Blackshear to foul out.
It is difficult not to think where this team may be if not for the sanctions. With a win tonight over Louisville, the Orange would likely sit firmly on the bubble with a pretty good chance at making it to the Tournament with that Villanova loss still slapping them every chance it gets.
Posted: Seth Goldberg