A quick take on Syracuse’s 73-66 loss to Virginia on Saturday afternoon:
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse trailed by as many as 23 points in the second half, but a 13-0 run pulled the Orange to within 57-48 with 4:50 to go. A pair of Joe Girard 3-pointers with a little over two minutes to go cut the lead to 8, and the lead was cut to 8 again after a Jesse Edwards tip in with 1:03 left. But Syracuse simply ran out of time after Chris Bell’s 3-pointer with 37 seconds made it 73-66. Girard and Justin Taylor missed shots in the closing moments and Virginia held off SU.
ANALYSIS: Credit needs to go to Syracuse for rallying from down 23 points to making a competitive game of it down the stretch, but the Orange waited too long to up its defensive intensity. Virginia shot 12 for 26 from downtown and caused 16 Orange turnovers while getting to the line seven more times. Jim Boeheim turned to his bench for a spark, and it obliged, with Mounir Hima’s 4 blocks and 6 rebounds, Maliq Brown’s 10 points and 8 rebounds, and Taylor’s 7 points and 2 steals leading the turnaround.
HERO: Though it was dormant in the first half, Syracuse’s starting backcourt of Girard and Judah Mintz surged in the second half, and they combined for 37 points. Armaan Franklin led Virginia with 16 points on 4 of 9 shooting from downtown, one of five ‘Hoos players in double digits.
ZERO: Jesse Edwards had a quiet night, shooting the ball just five times and finishing with four points.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse returns home to host Virginia Tech on Jan. 11 at 7 p.m.