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Free throws aren't free for Malachi.
It was earlier than it usually it, but Syracuse faced a much win game in January, taking on Clemson in the Carrier Dome. The last game of Jim Boeheim's suspension, Syracuse needed to stop their ACC losing skid, and win a conference game. Syracuse managed to not fade in the final four minutes, but rather in an extra five, and on a couple key spots in the final minute of regulation, leading to a defeat. The Clemson Tigers ended up winning in overtime 74 to 73.

  • First thing is first. The way Clemson shot the ball (53.8% total, 47.1% [8-17] from 3), they should have won the game. SU (38.7%, 38.2% [13-34] from 3) normally shouldn't beat a D2 team. However, SU was in it with 13 made 3s, and had they made just one more free throw, the Clemson 3 at the end of regulation wouldn't have mattered.
  • Michael Gbinije bounced back from his Miami outing wit 22 points, leading all scorers. It was on 7-19, 4-13 shooting. Not great on the 3s, but pretty good overall. He also added 4 assists and no turnovers.
  • Malachi Richardson continued his hot hand adding 21, mostly on 5-7 shooting from distance. He also led in rebounds with 9.
  • SU had 11 steals to Clemson's 4. However, the overall defense was rough. Especially both inside, and in guarding Clemson's DEEP 3 attempts, all of which seemed to go in, especially the last shot in regulation. ROUGH.
  • While SU kept the rebounding close (33-32), again, there was very little competent interior defnse or boxing out / rebounding. Obviously the biggest concern besides fading late in games or not consistently scoring.
  • Gbinije after the game said he "thought the plan" was to just play straight up defense. Jim Boeheim has talked lately that fouling when up 3 is the way to go. I agree. Unfortunately it didn't seem that was the plan and it certainly didn't happen. Probably the biggest costly mistake of the game.
SU now has ranked UNC coming into the Dome. Fortunately, they also have their head coach back. Will it matter against UNC? Not sure, but we'll find out.

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