A quick take on Syracuse’s 74-71 loss to Marquette on Monday night:
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse held a 53-47 lead with 7:48 left, but Marquette went on a 15-2 run, led by a pair of 3-pointers from Todd Mayo. The Orange committed four turnovers during that stretch and Marquette finished off the Orange with near flawless shooting from the free throw line.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse is essentially out of the running for the Big East regular season title. They trail leader Georgetown by two games with only three games left. SU simply had no answer for Davante Gardner inside, and he made them pay, getting to the line 13 times. That’s where the game was won, because Marquette took 32 shots from the line compared to SU’s 7.
HERO: Gardner lead all scorers with 24 points and added 8 rebounds. He was a perfect 7-7 from the field and 12-13 at the free throw line. CJ Fair led Syracuse with 20 points, but didn’t score after the 10:59 mark in the game until a late 3 with under a minute left.
ZERO: Syracuse’s outside shooting is becoming a real concern. The Orange was just 4-20 in the loss against Georgetown, and wasn’t much better tonight, going 8 for 24, with three of those makes coming with the game already out of reach. Carter-Williams was also sloppy with the ball, accounting for 4 of SU’s 10 turnovers. The Orange interior defense looked particularly vulnerable, as Gardner and Jamil Wilson helped Marquette to a 30-26 rebounding advantage.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse returns home to play Louisville on Saturday, March 2 at noon. TV: ESPN.Wesley Cheng