NIT Instant Juice: Syracuse 80, Mississippi 85

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Andrew White III set a single season three point scoring record for the Orange, but struggled until late in Syracuse’s NIT loss to Ole Miss.

A quick take on Syracuse’s 85-80 loss to Ole Miss in the NIT second round at the Dome, ending the Orange season:

WHAT HAPPENED: In a first-ever meeting between the schools, Ole Miss (22-13) became the ninth SEC team (of 14) to play in the Dome, and using a mix of defenses and torrid three point shooting, knocked the Orange (19-15) out of the NIT.   SU rallied from a seven point deficit in the final seven minutes behind Tyus Battle’s outside shooting (17 points), but the Rebels put the game away with late foul shots to advance to the NIT quarterfinals.

» Related: In rare non-NCAA Tournament year, Syracuse lacked senior leadership

ANALYSIS: In a game of runs and three point bombs by both teams, the Rebels scored the first nine points of the second half to set the pace, and seemingly each time SU rallied to the tie the game, Ole Miss would score at the other end to keep the Orange at bay.  Mississippi finished nearly 50% from beyond the arc, hitting 15 three pointers, while Andrew White III struggled from the field, not hitting his first shot from the perimeter until just over 6:00 to play.

HERO: Ole Miss sophomore guard Terence Davis was red hot from three point range hitting six, and shot nearly 80% overall from the field in leading the Rebels to advance with a game (and career) high 30 points.

ZERO: The Orange struggled to hit three point shots all afternoon ( 8 of 30), and when it needed a defensive stop to have possession to take the lead late, could not stop the Rebels from either lining up an open three, or from pounding the ball underneath to hit an easy shot or get to the foul line.

WHAT’S NEXT:  The off season.  After not playing in the NCAA Tournament in two of the last three seasons, with a Final Four appearance sandwiched in-between, there will be concern about making it back to the NCAAs next year, and the BIG question if Jim Boeheim will indeed return for the final season of his contract.

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Brad Bierman

About Brad Bierman

Now in his fifth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.
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