A quick take on Syracuse’s 66-58 loss against Wisconsin in the Big 10/ACC Challenge at the Carrier Dome on Wednesday evening:
WHAT HAPPENED: Nigel Hayes’ layup plus a foul with just over two minutes left broke a 55-55 game in overtime. On Wisconsin’s ensuing possession, Ethan Happ’s dunk gave the Badgers control of the game as the Orange went cold in the extra frame, shooting just 1-9. Syracuse appeared to have control of the game late in the second half, with Michael Gbinije burying a 3-pointer with 3:14 left to give SU a 52-48 lead. But Bronson Koenig tied the game on a 3-pointer two minutes later to send the game to overtime.
ANALYSIS: For the second straight game, Syracuse was badly beaten on the boards by a bigger team, with Wisconsin collecting 16 offensive rebounds and owning a +26 margin. Part of that was due to Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim electing to go with a smaller unit in the second half, starting Tyler Lydon over Dajuan Coleman at center, and subbing in Kaleb Joseph when needed. Coleman didn’t play at all in the second period or overtime. A smaller lineup didn’t lead to better shooting, though, with the Orange shooting just 35.7 percent from the field, 7-24 from downtown and 11-20 at the free throw line.
HERO: Wisconsin’s big men—Happ, Hayes and Vitto Brown—dominated SU. They combined for 47 points and 35 rebounds. Michael Gbinije led SU with 19 points, five assists and five rebounds, but was just 1-4 from the free throw line.
ZERO: Tyler Lydon, the ACC’s reigning Rookie of the Week, came in shooting nearly 60 percent from downtown. But went 0-3 from distance and fumbled a potential game-winning dunk with 10 seconds left in regulation.
WHAT’S NEXT: A date with an old flame. Syracuse travels to Washington, DC, to take on Georgetown on Saturday for a 1 p.m. tip. This time, they will meet as non-conference opponents for the first time since the formation of the Big East.