A quick take on Syracuse’s 60-53 win against Cincinnati:
WHAT HAPPENED: Cincinnati hit four of its first five 3-point attempts, and took an early 15-6 lead. But SU closed the first half on a 6-0 run and took a 28-25 lead into the break. A 12-2 run midway through the second half gave the Orange a 52-44 lead with 6:01 left, and control of the game. Syracuse was able to win despite starting the game 0-for-8 from 3-point land, although it did three of its final four. One game after a woeful 34 percent shooting performance against the Fighting Irish, SU rebounded by shooting 46 percent from the field.
ANALYSIS: Though the Orange was far from perfect, SU’s defense improved significantly from its first loss of the season. Cincinnati shot just 34.4 percent from the field and was also only 8-for-25 from downtown after its torrid start. The amount of 3-pointers attempted was particularly curious considering that the Bearcats had a clear size advantage down low with Fab Melo suspended. Despite the Orange giving up plenty of size to forward Yancy Gates, he only took 12 shots in the game.
HERO: Kris Joseph led the way with 17 points on 8-for-11 shooting, although he missed all three of his shots from beyond the arc. Scoop Jardine had 13 points and six assists, while Brandon Triche chipped in with 11. Gates had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Bearcats.
ZERO: Dion Waiters barely played in the second half, and finished with two points on 1-for-5 shooting. Jaquon Parker had a similar night, with two points, and was 1-for-7 from the field.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse returns home to the Carrier Dome to play West Virginia on Sat., Jan 28 at 1:00 p.m. TV: ESPNU.