16 Sep

Fast reaction: 3 quick takeaways from Syracuse’s 62-57 ACC tournament loss to Miami

first_img Published on March 8, 2017 at 2:19 pm Contact Connor: [email protected] | @connorgrossman NEW YORK — In a game Syracuse badly needed as an NCAA Tournament resume booster, it couldn’t come away with a lead in the final minutes against Miami. SU (18-14, 10-8 Atlantic Coast) fell to the Hurricanes (21-10, 10-8), 62-57, and is left to sweat out Selection Sunday in four days.Here’s three reactions to the Orange’s loss in the Barclays Center on Wednesday afternoon.Crunch timeIn the SU’s dramatic wins this season, it’s been able to ditch game-long struggles in the final minutes. While most of those games have been at the Carrier Dome, Syracuse was presented with a similar opportunity in the final three minutes against Miami in the Barclays Center.With a chance to cut the Hurricanes lead to one possession, Tyus Battle slammed an open dunk attempt off the back iron. Ja’Quan Newton came down on the other end of the court to complete the same play to Kamari Murphy and give Miami a five-point lead. But the Hurricanes missed an open layup attempt on its next possession, and John Gillon hit an open 3 to make it a two-point game with about 30 seconds remaining.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter both teams traded baskets again, SU trailed by two again with 12.1 seconds to go. Davon Reed missed the second half of an one-and-one at the free-throw line, giving Syracuse a chance to tie the game with 7.7 seconds left on the clock. Gillon pulled up from 3 at the top of the key, but his shot sailed wide.Battle patted the senior point guard on the back as he leaned over in frustration. There would be no last-second magic for Gillon this time. Pointing downAs we’ve seen all season, Syracuse doesn’t have much of an offense without solid play from its point guards. Specifically, it comes down to Gillon or Frank Howard’s ability to drive the basket. That’s exactly what they didn’t do in the first half, and it cost SU. Neither point guard made a first-half basket, and Gillon, who played the majority of the minutes, compounded his scoreless half with three turnovers and two fouls.The Orange’s offense instead cycled passes around the arc until one of its shooters decided their contested shot was better than the alternatives. SU only saved itself by shooting 52 percent in the first stanza, preserving an eight-point deficit at halftime. A subpar offensive afternoon could have easily put Syracuse down by a significant margin.Gillon didn’t follow through with any drive until five minutes remained in the first half. He tried weaving his way through the Hurricanes defense, only to miss an acrobatic layup attempt he’s tried plenty of times before. The paint didn’t really open up for SU until the latter 10 minutes of the second half, when the Orange entered the bonus. Surprisingly, it was 3-point specialist Andrew White who made the most attempts to get to the rim. He sunk 9-of-10 free throws to make good on Miami’s precarious foul situation.Unfortunately for Syracuse, a shift in offensive strategy came too late.The 6-foot point guard didn’t score his first points of the game about four minutes into the second half, when Tyler Lydon hauled in a rebound and found Gillon open behind the arc. That cut the Orange’s deficit to 38-34.Common enemyIn the Orange’s first game against Miami in January, freshman DJ Vasiljevic made himself known with a career-high 18 points on six 3s. He was the lone offensive bright spot for the Hurricanes in a game remembered for SU’s superb defense. Wednesday’s ACC tournament game wasn’t quite the same defensive showing for either team, but Vasiljevic once again was a thorn for SU.The 6-foot-3 guard made only three of his deep ball attempts en route to a 13-point afternoon, but they swung the game in Miami’s favor at crucial point. His first big strike against the Orange zone came after Battle swung the momentum with a go-ahead 3-pointer midway through the second half. Vasiljevic calmly spotted up behind the arc, answered with a 3-pointer of his own and hit another in the next possession to give Miami a five-point advantage.Even when his 3s didn’t fall, he tested the Orange’s interior defense on the boards. On one occasion, a missed Vasiljevic 3-pointer resulted in Murphy getting fouled around the rim, leading to an 8-0 Miami run after Battle’s 3. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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