A quick take on Syracuse’s 57-55 win over Cincinnati on Monday afternoon:
WHAT HAPPENED: CJ Fair tipped in a miss with 19 seconds left and JaQuon Parker missed a 3-pointer from near halfcourt on its final possession as the Orange extended the NCAA’s longest current winning streak with its 35th straight win. Syracuse was in serious trouble after the Bearcats took a 6-point lead with 3:47 remaining but the Orange went on a 9-1 run led by five points from Michael Carter-Williams.
ANALYSIS: Cincinnati started the game 6-29 from the field and had only 18 points going into halftime. But the Bearcats started to get better ball movement in the second half and used dribble penetration to open up better shots and held the lead for most of the second half. Syracuse countered with a smaller lineup that had all three guards (Brandon Triche, Michael Carter-Williams and Trevor Cooney) in at the same time with Triche playing the wing spot. That allowed SU to erase an early 7-point deficit in the second half. But it was SU’s guards that propelled them to the win as Triche and Carter-Williams combined for 9 of SU’s final 13 points.
HERO: Carter-Williams was clutch again down the stretch for the Orange, and finished with 16 points and 7 rebounds. Triche and CJ Fair chipped in 13 each. Kilpatrick finished with 21 points on 6-15 shooting from downtown.
ZERO: Cashmere Wright in his return to the lineup from a knee injury went 2-13 from the field for five points. SU coach Jim Boeheim also lamented about the lack of production from his front line after the game. Combined, Rakeem Christmas, DaJuan Coleman and Baye Moussa Keita combined for 2 points and 3 rebounds.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse travels to Pennsylvania to face Villanova on Saturday at 11 a.m.Wesley Cheng