NEW YORK — A quick take on Syracuse’s 83-76 loss to UConn on a snowy Thursday night at Madison Square Garden:
WHAT HAPPENED: After Jalen Carey’s layup with 17:18 pulled the Orange to within 41-39, Christian Vital immediately responded with a 3-pointer, which started a 13-2 run. Tyler Polley 3-pointer capped the run, which made it 54-41 with 12:54 to go. The Orange wasn’t done, and pulled to within 70-66 with 3:43 to go after Tyus Battle’s 3-pointer. But Alterique Gilbert immediately responded with a 3-pointer from well beyond NBA range, and on UConn’s ensuing possession, Jalen Adams hit a 3-pointer of his own putting UConn up 10, and the game out of reach.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse clearly misses its starting point guard, Frank Howard. Howard made the trip to New York but could only watch from the bench as the Orange struggled mightily to score. The Orange shot just 39 percent from the field, 6-21 from downtown and assisted on just 10 of its 26 field goals. On the other side of the court, UConn picked apart the 2-3 zone, as the Huskies shot 49 percent from the field and 12-21 from downtown. Eric Cobb, who came in averaging just 4.0 points and one rebound punished SU inside, finishing with 13 points and 13 rebounds.
HERO: Making his first career start at point guard, Jalen Carey played very much like a talented freshman. He turned the ball over three times within the first four minutes, earning him a spot on the bench. But he settled down after that, and at times was Syracuse’s only source of offense en route to a team-high 26 points and seven rebounds.
ZERO: Oshae Brissett never established a rhythm, shooting just 3-15 from the field for nine points.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will play either No. 13 Oregon or Iowa on Friday at Madison Square Garden.