Instant Juice: Syracuse 54, Iowa 68

Jim Boeheim
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim looks on from the sidelines. Mandatory Photo Credit: Initra Marilyn, The Juice Online.

A quick take on Syracuse’s embarrassing 68-54 loss to Iowa on Tuesday night in the Big 10/ACC Challenge at the Carrier Dome:

WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse appeared to be competitive with Iowa after the first half, trailing just 30-29 going into intermission. But after Iowa struggled to solve the 2-3 zone in the first half, shooting just 34.4 percent, the Hawkeyes moved the ball fluidly inside and out after intermission, shooting 15-29 in the second half (6-16 from downtown) while only turning the ball over twice. A 12-0 run capped by a Luke Garza jumper with 9:03 to go proved to be the difference, as Iowa went up it 56-38. The Orange could only cut the lead to 14, and the Hawkeyes sent the Orange to another brutal double-digit defeat against a Power 6 opponent.

» Related: Syracuse meeting Iowa has only occurred a few times in SU history

ANALYSIS: Heading into the 2019-20 season, the Orange was looked at as a bubble team. Nearly a month into the season, Syracuse looks like a bubble team—for the NIT, that is. SU has now lost by double-digits against all four Power 6 opponents (Virginia, Oklahoma State, Penn State and now Iowa), and hasn’t looked competitive in any of those games after halftime. The same bugaboos showed up on Tuesday evening. Syracuse stumbled on offense, shooting 34 percent from the field and 6-21 from downtown. On defense, SU generated only 10 turnovers (two after halftime), and its interior defense was again exposed, as Luka Garza (23 points, nine rebounds) was the latest big man to have a field day inside. Syracuse’s struggles are reaching an all-time low for Orange head coach Jim Boeheim. Not once in his long SU tenure has the Orange started 4-4; but that is where the Orange stands now.

HERO: Garza was one of three Hawkeyes in double figures. Jordan Bohannon (17 points) and Joe Wieskamp (13 points, nine rebounds, four assists) also starred.

ZERO: Syracuse had plenty to choose from here, but its backcourt of Buddy Boeheim and Joe Girard III continued their struggles, which carried over from Brooklyn. The duo combined for 4-18 shooting and 13 points. Girard has only made four field goals in his last three games, and compounded his woes on Tuesday by missing all four of his 3-point attempts.

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse travels to Atlanta where they will face off against ACC foe Georgia Tech on Saturday at noon. TV: ACC Network.

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Wes Cheng
About Wes Cheng 2486 Articles
Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com 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.