A quick take on Syracuse’s 67-58 loss against Notre Dame:
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse’s undefeated season came to an end in South Bend as the Irish shot 50 percent from the field and downtown while the Orange shot 35 percent from the field. Notre Dame raced out to an 18 point lead in the first half before a late second half rally pulled SU to within 54-46 with four minutes left. A Notre Dame turnover would give SU the ball back, but Dion Waiters dribbled the ball off his foot as he drove baseline. Syracuse would get to within six with 54 seconds left, but missed its final three 3-pointers as Notre Dame hung on for its first victory at home over a No. 1 team since 1987.
ANALYSIS: Fab Melo didn’t travel with Syracuse and, boy, did SU miss him. Aside from being outrebounded 37-24, the Orange also only had two blocks (Melo alone has averaged four blocks a game in conference play). Notre Dame big man Jack Cooley was the main beneficiary of Melo’s absence, as he abused the Orange inside with 17 points and 10 rebounds. It doesn’t get much better, as Cincinnati’s Yancy Gates awaits the Orange on Monday.
HERO: Besides Cooley, Scott Martin had 13 and Jerian Grant had 11. James Southerland led SU with 15 points.
ZERO: Dion Waiters finished with 11 points, but shot 4-for-14 from the field. Scoop Jardine had seven assists, but was 0-for-5 from the field and only scored two points. Notre Dame’s leading scorer Eric Atkins was in foul trouble all night and finished with a quiet five points.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will travel to Cincinnati, OH to play the Beatcats on Mon., Jan 23 at 7:00 p.m. TV: ESPN.