Shooting woes, losing streak continue for SU

Another poor shooting night for No. 12 Orange lead to the team's third straight loss in Saturday's game against No. 10 Louisville.

The losing streak continues.

No. 12 Syracuse (22-7, 10-6) lost its third game in a row, this time to No. 10 Louisville (24-5, 12-4) on Saturday afternoon, 58-53. This marked the last game between the two in Big East play. Turnovers and a poor offensive start put SU in a hole that they weren’t able to fight out of.

Photo: Taylor Baucom
Brandon Triche hits hits two of his eight points in Saturday's game against Louisville.

“You can’t make those types of mistakes in tournament type games,” said head coach Jim Boeheim. “It’s difficult to win against zone defenses when you don’t make many shots from the perimeter.”

SU had its lowest halftime point total of the season with a measly 19 points.  The lack of offensive creativity and poor shooting inside attributed to the slow start. Seniors Brandon Triche and James Southerland were unable to get anything to fall in the first half. They shot a combined 2-for-13 from the field and were 0-for-5 from three-point range.

Boeheim said Triche doesn’t play well when he tries too hard. “We’re not going to win when he shoots two for eleven with seven turnovers,” Boeheim said.

Triche’s three biggest turnovers all came within the last two minutes of the game, a couple of which came from inbounding the ball. The senior forced a lot of looks and passes toward the end of the game, a possible reason behind the three-game skid, said Boehiem. The turnovers came at the expense of a Louisville defense that is currently ranked first in the country with a plus-6.1 turnover margin.

 “If I was used to making turnovers I wouldn’t think much of it,” Triche said. “But when its out of your character, it hurts.”

Over his past nine games, Triche has shot 17.4-percent from behind the arc on 8-of-46.

The inconsistencies of the offense were mainly due to missed shots. SU shot the ball mostly in the pain, but they weren’t able to capitalize on the open shots as they shot 27.3-percent from the field in the first half. CJ Fair was the only exception, as he drained five of his 11 shots taken from the field.

Fair got some help in the second half from Southerland. Southerland’s slow start became ancient history after he nailed a couple of deep three-pointers that brought the crowd to their feet. He was perfect from the field in the second half and was a big catalyst for the offensive resurgence.

“You can’t focus on the shots you missed in the first half,” Southerland said. “At the same time you have to be ready to hit the next shot and that's where I was more mentally focused coming into the second half.”

Mental focus couldn’t be found at the end of the game for the Orange. After going down 48-51 with 53 seconds remaining, Michael Carter-Williams decided to throw up a shot toward the right side of the three-point arc to tie the game. The miss all but sealed victory for Louisville after they hit the next free throws.

“He hasn’t hit anything all game, he shouldn’t have shot that three,” Boeheim said. “He should have tried to drive or do something else.”

With all that went wrong in the game, coach Boeheim wasn’t as upset with his star players as he was with the big men.

“We need to get something offensively from our centers,” said Boeheim. “They get a rebound and miss a layup. It isn’t that hard. This is college basketball.” 

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