1 Comments Published on 2.16.2010 by Brian Harrison
Well we knew this would happen sometime, we just did not expect it to be against Louisville and Rick Pitino. Syracuse fell on Valentine's Day in front of the biggest crowd in college basketball of the season. It was disappointing but unfortunately not that surprising. Syracuse falls to the Cardinals 66 to 60.
Syracuse started the game well, and for most of the first half was out in front of the Cards. But then the 'Ville would get on a run of their own and catch up. This back and forth keep happening until Louisville took the lead in the half, but Syracuse closed out the half up by one. Syracuse was up by 11 at one point. But Louisville made good use of their possessions and, most importantly, hit big threes. Syracuse got down and made a good effort to get back into the game, but missing shots, poor rebounding down the stretch, and a suspicious intentional foul call, ended the comeback. Syracuse ended up losing by four before a cherry picking dunk as time expired. They finished down by six to lose to Louisville for the fifth time in as many tries. Balls.
Wes Johnson was the leading scorer for the Orange. He finished with 14 points, but it is a bit deceiving because he shot 5-20 on the day. He injured his thumb in the UConn game so it was unclear if this played a part in the 25% success rate, but either way this was not the performance Syracuse needed to have against a Big East team. He added eight rebounds to tie the team's high.
Both Arinze Onuaku and Andy Rautins added 12 points. AO did it on 6-8 shooting, while Rautins did it on 4-8 and 3-7 from behind the arc. Andy nailed one of them from deep in transition that was brilliant down the stretch, but failed to get a chance to take a shot when it mattered. Onuaku overall was really good from the post in this game but he continues to have trouble securing the ball if he gets swarmed in the paint. Onuaku also added seven rebounds.
Mookie Jones actually made his way into this game for three minutes. He did not get any points and missed the one shot he took. His defense was not good in this game. For those people that think he should be playing you either do not understand the dynamics of this team and Jim Boeheim's coaching, or you just do not have any basketball IQ.
Syracuse shot the ball under 50% in this game, actually being outscored in this game. They shot 41.4% (24-58), while Louisville shot slightly better at 42.9% (24-56). Syracuse actually outrebounded Louisville in this game 34 to 32 but they couldn't buy a rebound when it mattered most as 'Ville pulled them down off of missed free throws and on the offensive glass, resulting in points for them.
You simply have to give credit to Louisville. They played better defense, had better rhythm on offense, and generally had every bounce go their way. Timmy Higgins also made sure Syracuse did not have a chance to come back after calling an intentional foul. But let me be totally clear, Syracuse lost this game by how they played, not from anything Tim Higgins did. Syracuse lost. We all move on. 24 and 2 is nothing to be ashamed of. There is no need to complain about this and that after the loss like we are 2-24. We aren't. This is still a good team and this was hopefully the wake up this team needed. Until next time... at Georgetown.