A quick take on Syracuse’s 64-51 loss against Miami on Saturday afternoon in Florida:
WHAT HAPPENED: Tied at 44 after two Tyler Lydon free throws with 5:15 left, Ja’Quan Newton’s 3-pointer started an 12-0 run that sent the Orange to an 0-2 start in ACC play. The final few minutes against Miami resembled Syracuse’s loss to Pitt earlier in the week, when SU surrendered a 10-0 run in the game’s waning moments. It was a frustrating second half for the Orange, which saw its 25-17 halftime lead melt away.
ANALYSIS: In what has turned into a rare feat for this basketball season, the Orange matched an opponent in rebounds, with each time collecting 41 rebounds. Interim head coach Mike Hopkins adjusted his lineups, using Lydon at the wing and Dajuan Coleman and even Chino Obokoh more in lineups. That allowed Malachi Richardson to occasionally slide to the top of the zone for a bigger lineup. But Miami’s relentless defense forced Syracuse into 34 percent shooting from the field, and an uncharacteristic 18 turnovers. Three of those turnovers came during the crucial run late in the second half.
HERO: Malachi Richardson was Syracuse’s only reliable offensive threat, hitting 5-6 from downtown for 20 pounds to go with six rebounds. For Miami, Sheldon McClellan and Newton combined for 36 points, though McClellan missed all six of his 3-point attempts.
ZERO: With Angel Rodriguez hounding him all afternoon, Michael Gbinije had a rough game, turning the ball over eight times, and misfiring on all seven of his attempts from downtown. Collectively, the ‘Canes shot 3-25 from beyond the arc.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse returns home to face Clemson on Tuesday, Jan. 5 at 8 p.m. It will be Hopkins’ final game this season as head coach before Jim Boeheim returns from suspension. TV: ACC Network.