Instant Juice: Syracuse 70, North Carolina 75

Fifth-year senior Michael Gbinije brings plenty of experience to the game
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 2678 Articles
Wes has worked for covering the New York Knicks, as well as for covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) 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. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.