A quick take on Syracuse’s 66-62 loss against Miami on Saturday evening:
WHAT HAPPENED: With one chance to tie the game down three with 11.2 seconds left, Trevor Cooney missed a 3, though the Orange had one final possession after Miami knocked the ball out of bounds. With 4.4 seconds left, Miami fouled Rakeem Christmas who missed the first and was forced to intentionally miss the second. The Hurricanes rebounded and the Orange dropped its sixth game of the season.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse can point to two statistical categories for why it fell short: Free throws and turnovers. The Orange missed seven free throws in the final eight minutes of the game, with Gbinije accounting for three of them (including the front end of a 1-and-1). SU was 8-19 as a team. The Orange also committed 13 turnovers, with two coming at critical junctures down the stretch when the Orange had a chance to tie. Syracuse also struggled at the start of the game and the start of the second half. Miami started the first half on a 10-1 run, and a 10-2 run after intermission. Though the Orange would rally, the deficits proved too much to overcome because the Orange never led after it scored the first point of the game.
HERO: Angel Rodriguez scored all 12 of his points in the second half, and added eight assists. Rakeem Christmas started 2-9 from the field, but came alive in the second half for 23 points on 9-17 shooting to go along with nine rebounds. But Christmas was an uncharacteristic 5-11 from the line. Tyler Roberson chipped in 10 points and 14 rebounds.
ZERO: Gbinije finished with nine points before fouling out, but was 1-4 from the line. Kaleb Joseph was a quiet 1-4 from the field for three points.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse begins the first of three of four games on the road when it travels to play North Carolina on Monday Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. TV: ESPN.