St. John’s highlights Syracuse basketball’s weakness from 3-point range

Syracuse was eliminated from the NCAA Tournament
Syracuse’s outside shooting has frustrated its coach

Syracuse’s woes from downtown continued 69-57 loss to St. John’s on Saturday night, giving the Red Storm its first win at the Dome since 1999. The Orange was just 3-22 on 3-point attempts, and is now a shooting a combined 20.9 percent for the season.

As usual, Trevor Cooney was being guarded carefully, and the Red Storm held him to 0-4 from 3. He wasn’t the only one to struggle, as BJ Johnson (0-3), Kaleb Joseph (1-5), Michael Gbinije (1-3) and Ron Patterson (1-7) were all ineffective.

Syracuse shot just 39 percent from the field and 10-20 from the line.

The poor shooting continued into crunch time, with the Orange missing its final five attempts from beyond the arc with under 10 minutes to go. Patterson missed four attempts and Cooney missed one as the Red Storm closed on a 17-2 run.

» Syracuse falls to St. John’s at home

“We just haven’t been good at the end of games,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “We just have to keep playing and if we are not shooting well we have to get to the basket.”

Meanwhile, St. John’s had no such problems.

Phil Greene made three consecutive 3-pointers as part of an 11-point outburst with under four minutes left. That allowed St. John’s to rally from a 2-point deficit to take a 63-57 lead with 58 seconds left. The Johnnies would tack on six more free throws from there.

“In my head I said I was shooting regardless. I knew I was going to make a big shot,” Greene said. “I had it in me, I just felt it.”

The Red Storm finished 9-16 from downtown and 20-25 at the charity stripe.

“They’re struggling from the 3-point line,” St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin said. “If they miss then we have three or four bodies to negate their ability to get on the backboards.”

SU’s inability to hit the 3, as well as defend it, frustrated Boeheim.

“Let me put it this way. This will be the end [of the press conference],” Boeheim said. “We’ve either got to make some shots or we’re going to lose against some good teams. That’s it, okay? It’s not that complicated.”

And with that, Boeheim stormed off the podium.

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About Michelle Sagan 24 Articles
Michelle is currently studying Public Relations at Syracuse University. She is a part of disability student advocacy groups among other clubs on campus, and currently works for the University’s Literacy corps. Michelle is from the D.C Area, and though home means facing Georgetown fans everyday, she still remains loyal to the Orange. She has followed Syracuse Athletics with her father since elementary school. Follow her on Twitter @michelle_sagan.