Syracuse has played close games in each of its last three contests.
Still, the Orange found a way to finish off Miami 64-52 in Coral Gables on Saturday afternoon. Like Syracuse has against Boston College and Pittsburgh, both of those teams kept a close game until the final minutes when Syracuse found a way to pull away. The same thing happened against the Hurricanes in the final regular-season contest between the two squads.
Jerami Grant continues to step in during the absence of DaJuan Coleman. He’s done his part on the court, scoring and grabbing rebounds. The sophomore forward finished with 14 points, 8 rebounds and a dunk that is likely to find its way onto the SportsCenter Top 10 on Saturday night.
He’s a tough, physical player who can provide solid services on both sides of the ball. He was 3-of-8 from the field, but 8-of-12 at the free-throw line. That’s one big way Syracuse got its buckets: 17 of its 64 points came from 20 Miami personal fouls.
The Orange continues to finish. In late games, with a two-point lead, or even more, teams are forced to foul. That puts the Orange at the free-throw line and makes for easier scoring chances. Syracuse was solid at the charity stripe on Saturday, with Tyler Ennis, Trevor Cooney, C.J. Fair and Grant combining to go 17-of-23 from the line.
It doesn’t get easier from here. A week of practice to tighten up the defense is important because Duke visits the Carrier Dome on February 1 for a highly anticipated matchup of ACC legendary programs.
Posted by: Austin Pollack