Fast reactions: 3 quick takeaways from Syracuse’s 85-80 season-ending loss
Jacob Greenfeld | Asst. Photo Editor
The clock finally ran out on Syracuse’s season. SU couldn’t finish off a final one in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament. The Orange (19-15, 10-8 Atlantic Coast) fell to No. 5 Ole Miss (22-13), 85-80, to end its season.
Here are three immediate reactions from the game.
After a season marked by late-game dramatics, Syracuse tried to stitch together a final epic ending in the Carrier Dome. Freshman guard Tyus Battle buried a pull-up jumper to draw SU within three points and about 40 seconds to go on the clock. But there would be no more heroics left to write in this year’s script. Sophomore forward Tyler Lydon clanked a last-ditch 3-pointer and Syracuse didn’t try to foul in the final seconds of the game.
One of the more memorable seasons in recent years came to an end in the Carrier Dome, where the Orange finished the year with a 17-4 record.
Lost and found
Syracuse has faced plenty of deficits this season. Most of them double-digits, and a surprising number of them overcome. SU’s lifeline has been the 3-pointer through most of those comebacks. But in a game with plenty of lead changes, the Orange turned in one of its worst shooting performances of the season from behind the arc. Syracuse started out 0-for-9 before sophomore guard Frank Howard finally relieved his teammates after nearly 14 minutes of play. But SU never quite found its 3-point stroke, converting only 8-of-30 attempts and keeping a close game throughout with Ole Miss.
The Rebels stayed afloat by making 15-of-32 of its 3-pointers, including three straight to start the second half and take the lead on a 9-0 run. Syracuse missed a pair of 3s in that time, none more boggling than Andrew White missing his fifth of the game on a wide-open look. Even head coach Jim Boeheim landed both hands on his head after White’s attempt rimmed out.
The fifth-year senior entered the game as a 40 percent shooter from deep, but didn’t come alive until the game’s final minutes. As SU’s season hung in the balance, he hit three consecutive 3s to keep the Orange in the game. White, Lydon and Battle — SU’s best sharpshooters — finished the game 7-for-26 collectively.
One of the greatest puzzles this season has been Lydon’s disappearing act on offense. A player clearly capable of stretching the floor or attacking from inside, he’s endured plenty of halves this season with little to no offensive production. At times he’ll be too passive, at times he just can’t find his stroke. Saturday looked like it would be the latter for the sophomore, but he persisted with an aggressive approach he’s lacked at times to finish with 15 points and 14 rebounds. It was his ninth double-double of the season.
He began the game by converting on only one of his first five attempts to the basket, but responded by making his next five straight. That stretch began with a layup through traffic and finished with a 3 to help fuel a 12-0 first-half run.
Published on March 18, 2017 at 1:05 pm