Syracuse lost to UNC, 72-68, on Tuesday evening. Here are some quick hits from the game.
- With the Orange trailing 64-63 and under three minutes to play, Joe Girard III and Jesse Edwards worked a screen to get a switch out of the North Carolina defense. Girard entered the ball to Edwards, who backed his way into the paint, but could not score over Leaky Black despite a six-inch height advantage. It is not part of the Syracuse collapse, but it was an opportunity Edwards needed to convert.
- Edwards’ fouling out was in large part due to him picking up three fouls in about four minutes early in the second half. Making matters worse is Syracuse is 0-4 this season when Edwards fouls out (Bryant, Illinois, and Pittsburgh). In those four games, Edwards averages 9.3 points in 32.5 minutes of action. In all other games, Edwards posts 14.6 points per game in 30.6 minutes of action.
- The loss will obscure that SU defended very well in the second half. UNC shot 40 percent in the second half on two-point field goals and just 2-of-7 from long range. Carolina started the game 4-of-5 from long range, then went 2-of-11 the rest of the way.
- After going 4-of-9 from three-point range in the game, Girard is up to 39.8 percent from deep in ACC games at the midpoint of the conference slate. Chris Bell is shooting even better against conference foes, making 15-of-33 triples (45.5 percent). Paced by that duo, the Orange are connecting on 39.3 percent of their three-point attempts in ACC competition.
- Edwards, Girard, and Judah Mintz dominated the ball for Syracuse, combining for 14 of the team’s 17 turnovers. That team total ties their season high.
- After a slow start in the opening half, Maliq Brown grabbed all seven of his boards in just under 13 minutes of action in the second half.
Syracuse will take a trip to Blacksburg to close their season series against Virginia Tech on Saturday night. The Orange (13-8, 6-4 ACC) claimed the home half of the season series two weeks ago, grabbing an 82-72 win over the Hokies (12-8, 2-7). Girard paced five SU players in double figures with 24 points while Grant Basile hung a 26-point, ten-rebound double-double and Justyn Mutts had 21 points and nine assists for Virginia Tech.
Sean Pedulla leads the Hokies with 16.0 points per game, but struggled in the first contest, finishing with ten points. Hunter Cattour, who missed the first contest, has returned for the last three VT games, making ten three-pointers on 43.5 percent shooting from deep and averaging 10.7 points per game in that time.
Saturday night’s action is set to get underway at 7:00pm Eastern and the game will be televised by the ACC Network.
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