Syracuse lost in overtime, 88-79, to North Carolina. Here are some quick thoughts from the game:
- The Orange made their first six shots as they jumped out to a 15-6 lead and never missed more than three consecutive shots in the game. North Carolina, meanwhile, missed at least four straight shots five times, including a streak of eight straight misses, seven to open the second half.
- The Tar Heels, however, closed strong, making five of their six shots in the extra session. SU, however, relied on a lot of isolation play to start the extra session, settling for contested shots that had little chance of finding the net.
- SU started the game defending well on the inside, holding the Heels to just 1-of-7 inside the arc at the onset of the game. Unfortunately, the hosts made seven of their last eight in the first half, only missing on a buzzer beater attempt. The Orange did even better in the second half, allowing UNC to shoot 4-of-17 on twos.
- Bourama Sidibe once again was a source of valuable minutes, adding eight points and three rebounds in 25 minutes of play.
- Swider owned the first half for Syracuse, scoring 21 points. The team was much more balanced in the second half, as five players scored at least five points.
The Orange will wrap up their schedule on Saturday when they host Miami in the return match of their season season. SU was edged by the Hurricanes (20-9, 12-6) on the road in early January, 88-87.
Joe Girard III hit seven threes as he paced all scorers in the game with 26 points for Syracuse and was backed by Cole Swider’s 20 points. Charlie Moore almost matched Girard by hitting six triples and pouring in 25 points for Miami. Kameron McGusty supported him with 19.
The Hurricanes, who play at Boston College on Wednesday before meeting Syracuse, are led in scoring by McGusty, who averages 17.7 points per game. Isaiah Wong (15.1 points per game) and Moore (12.7) are the other double-figure scorers for Miami.
Saturday’s contest will get underway at 1:00pm Eastern and be televised by ESPNU.