NEW YORK — A quick take on Syracuse 52-50 loss against Connecticut on Monday evening at famed Madison Square Garden:
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse took a 37-26 lead with 13:14 left in the second half after an Andrew White 3-pointer. From there, the Orange went completely cold, with the Huskies going on a 20-6 run to take a 46-44 lead with under four minutes left. Syracuse tied the game at 50 with after Andrew White hit a 3 with nine seconds left, but Christian Vital rebounded a miss with two seconds left and was fouled and hit the go-ahead free throw to win the game. The game had the feeling of a physical, grind-it-out Big East battle, with both times mired in an offensive slump throughout.
ANALYSIS: All of Syracuse’s offensive flaws were on display against UConn. Spotty outside shooting? Check. Syracuse was just 6-27 from downtown. Bad ball movement? Check. The Orange had nine assists against 12 turnovers and shot 25.9 percent from the field. Lack of a go-to player in crunch time? Check. Tyler Lydon and Andrew White combined for 5-22 shooting from the field. UConn at 4-4 with losses to Wagner and Northeastern is simply not a good team this season, and with the loss, Syracuse is not at the moment, either.
HERO: Rodney Purvis led all scorers with 21 points and shot 6-15 from downtown. For Syracuse, Dajuan Coleman continued his torrid play, collecting 16 rebounds and adding 10 points.
ZERO: Lydon looks lost on offense. He still seems reluctant to shoot, and finished with just seven points on eight shots. With a chance to put the game out of reach with under a minute left, Kentan Facey missed four straight free throws to keep Syracuse within striking distance.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse returns home to face Boston University at the Carrier Dome on Saturday at noon.