A quick take on Syracuse’s 66-58 loss to Connecticut:
WHAT HAPPENED: Omar Calhoun hit a 3-pointer with 9:53 left that sparked a 7-0 UConn run, giving the Huskies control of what had been to that point a back-and-forth game. The Orange wouldn’t get closer than five points the rest of the way, as the Huskies won the last matchup between these two teams for the foreseeable future with the Orange headed to the ACC next season.
ANALYSIS: The Huskies were thin in the front court without suspended center Enosch Wolf, yet were able to dominate the Orange on the glass for most of the game. Midway through the second half, the Orange were -9 on the glass before a flurry of rebounds off desperation shots made the final margin 35-34 in favor of the Huskies. Connecticut was able to dictate pace in the second half, working the offensive set and patiently finding open shots from downtown. Connecticut finished 8-15 from that range, while SU too often settled for outside jumpers early in the shot clock. Syracuse essentially shot itself out of the game from distance, going 4-22.
HERO: Connecticut’s backcourt of Ryan Boatright, Omar Calhoun and Shabazz Napier carried the offensive load, combining for 42 points. James Southerland hit all four of SU’s 3-pointers, and finished with 14 points. Jerami Grant in limited minutes led SU with 9 rebounds.
ZERO: Syracuse’s backcourt of Trevor Cooney, Brandon Triche and Michael Carter-Williams were ice cold from downtown. The trio combined to shoot 0-9 from beyond the arc. As an indicator of how the offensive bogged down, the Orange combined for 8 assists on 23 field goals, with Carter-Williams only having one. In SU’s three losses in Big East play, Carter-Williams has had five or less assists, while in their eight wins, he’s had five or more.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will continue its road trip, heading to New Jersey to play Seton Hall on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013 at 8 p.m. TV: ESPN.Wesley Cheng