Instant Juice: Syracuse 70, North Carolina 75

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Fifth-year senior Michael Gbinije brings plenty of experience to the game
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Gibing missed a layup late that cost SU a game

A quick take on Syracuse’s 75-70 loss against North Carolina on Monday evening:

WHAT HAPPENED: Down 73-70 with seven seconds left, Michael Gbinije missed a transition layup that was rebounded by UNC. Joel Berry calmly hit a pair of free throws to put the Tar Heels back up five, and a desperation 3 at the buzzer from Malachi Richardson fell short. It was a disappointing ending for the Orange, who chipped away at an 11 point deficit with 9:47 left, but could never quite overtake the Tar Heels.

» Related: Gbinije closes Carrier Dome career with 34 points

ANALYSIS: Syracuse can point to 15 turnovers for its struggles. Offensive fouls were a problem all night, with Gbinije picking up three in the first half, and a key push-off on Richardson with 1:35 costing SU an upset opportunity.  The Orange also struggled inside (-6 on the board) and out (5-20 from 3), and assisted on just nine of its 23 field goals. The loss leaves SU with work to do to secure an NCAA bid. A win in its ACC finale would give the Orange a 20-win season and 10 wins in conference, but a road win against a top 10 team would’ve secured a spot.

HERO: Brice Johnson’s 14 points and 10 rebounds led the Tar Heels. Gbinije paced the Orange with 17 points and seven assists.

ZERO: Trevor Cooney was second on the team in scoring with 14 points, but was 3-11 from the field and 2-7 from downtown.

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse closes out the regular season on Saturday, March 5 at 2 p.m. against Florida State in Tallahassee (Fla.). TV: ESPN2.

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About Wes Cheng 2831 Articles
Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com 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]sujuiceonline.com.