Syracuse struggles from free throw line in loss

Fair was 8-8 from the line

NEW YORK — One of the most glaring discrepancies in Syracuse’s 83-79 loss to Temple on Saturday was at the free throw line.

Temple went 29-36 from the line, or 80.6 percent. Meanwhile, the Orange was 19-34 at the line for 55.9 percent. On the season, SU is shooting 66 percent from the line.

Fair was 8-8 from the line

“The bottom line is that you can’t miss 15 free throws,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “They made 29, we made 19. That’s just not a way you can win tough games in tough situations. We’re going to have to shoot the ball better from the free throw line.”

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The biggest culprit on Syracuse was Michael Carter-Williams, who finished with 13 points. He went just 7-15 from the line and missed a free throw with 1:20 left that could’ve tied the game, and missed 3 of his last 4 attempts.

Meanwhile, Khalif Wyatt finished with 33 points, including a perfect 15-15 from the line. Anthony Lee was also 11-14 from 21 points.

“If I had made my free throws,” Carter-Williams said, “we would’ve won the game.”

Other offenders included Dajuan Coleman (0-2), Rakeem Christmas (0-1), Brandon Triche (2-4) and Baye Moussa Keita (2-4).

While SU big men have never been marksmen from the line, Triche has been one of the Orange’s best free throw shooters over his career. He shot 84 percent his sophomore year, but since then it has gone down to 77 and then 71 percent this season.

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“I know I need to do a lot better. It starts with me,” Triche said. “I usually get fouled a lot early. I need to be able to make my free throws and have that confidence to get to the basket.”

Then again, SU is perennially a poor shooting team from the charity stripe.

“We’re never good if you think about it. If you look at our stats we’re [around] 60 percent,” Triche said. “As a team, we just have to shoot better. Boeheim said we’re last in the Big East as far as shooting free throws and we can’t have that.”

The exception to the rule was CJ Fair, who was a perfect 8-8 from the line.

“This was one of those nights that it wasn’t falling,” Fair said. “It’s something that you have to stay confident in. Next situation, we’ll knock down our free throws.”

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About Wes Cheng 2907 Articles
Wes has worked for covering the New York Knicks, as well as for covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also been a contributing writer for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), for SportsNet New York (SNY) as a news desk writer covering all of New York professional sports, and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005 with a degree in journalism. Contact him at wes[at]