NEW YORK – A quick take on Syracuse’s 83-79 upset loss to Temple in the Gotham Classic championship at Madison Square Garden denying Jim Boeheim his 901st career win and handing the Orange their first defeat of the season:
WHAT HAPPENED: In a very entertaining game for the Garden spectators and national ESPN TV audience, Temple shook off a 2-point halftime deficit to race out to an eight-point advantage halfway through the second half, the largest deficit for the Orange this season, before holding on and hitting their free throws down the stretch.
ANALYSIS: Well-coached Temple had no problem figuring out the SU zone, seemingly finding the open man for second half open jump shots, and beating the Orange full court pressure for easy opportunities underneath the basket.
HERO: Owls leading scorer Khalif Wyatt shook off a poor outing in Temple’s loss to Canisius Wednesday night by pouring in a game-high 33-points, keyed by hitting all fifteen of his free throws.
ZERO: The Syracuse offense and poor free throw shooting. Michael Carter-Williams entered the game leading the nation with 10.3 assists a game. The entire SU team finished with eight assists and missed 15 of its 34 free throws. .
WHAT’S NEXT: The Orange return home to play Alcorn State on Saturday, Dec. 29th at 7 p.m. TV: Big East Network/TWC/SNY.Brad Bierman