A quick take on Syracuse’s 64-62 win against Duke on Monday evening at Cameron Indoor Stadium:
WHAT HAPPENED: With 7 seconds left on the clock and Syracuse up 63-62, Greyson Allen drove to the lane and missed a runner. In the ensuing scrum for the ball, Malachi Richardson was fouled and hit the first free throw before missing the second. Duke rebounded, but without any timeouts, wasn’t able to get a shot off with three seconds left, and Syracuse held on for a dramatic win on the road. The Orange survived by shooting 11-23 from downtown, making up for 35.2 percent overall shooting from the field.
ANALYSIS: There’s a tangible difference with Syracuse now that Jim Boeheim has returned to the bench. For the second straight game, the Orange put forth an outstanding defensive effort. Duke shot just 37.1 percent from the field and 10-37 from downtown, while surrendering a -7 rebounding margin. Just a week ago, the Orange seemed destined for the NIT, having lost its first four ACC games. But now with its third straight win, and first over a ranked opponent since the Battle 4 Atlantis, the Orange is right back in the thick of the chase for the tourney.
HERO: Tyler Roberson played one of the best games of his career, scoring 14 points and adding 20 rebounds, 12 on the offensive end to tie a school record. He was joined by three other players (Trevor Cooney, Richardson and Michael Gbinije) at the 14 point mark. For Duke, Marshall Plumlee led the way with 19 points and 17 rebounds, 11 on the offensive end. Grayson Allen chipped in 18.
ZERO: Luke Kennard and Matt Jones combined for 2-20 shooting from the field. SU, meanwhile, was just 3-8 from the free throw line.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse finishes its 3-game road swing when it travels to Virginia on Saturday, Jan. 23 at noon. TV: ESPN/ESPN2.