3 takeaways from Syracuse’s 85-64 loss to Penn State in NIT Season Tip-Off

first_img Published on November 29, 2019 at 9:22 pm Contact Michael: mmcclear@syr.edu | @MikeJMcCleary Facebook Twitter Google+ BROOKLYN — Syracuse (4-3, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) lost 85-64 to Penn State (6-1) Friday night in the Barclays Center. The Orange got off to a slow start, but used big runs at the end of the first half and the start of the second to work themselves back into the game. A 15-point deficit turned into a 35-35 tie just five minutes after halftime behind an 8-1 spurt. But they couldn’t build on the strong play and lost control of the NIT Season Tip-Off third-place game.Here are three takeaways from Syracuse’s second-straight loss.Back on targetAfter shooting just 1-of-7 from 3-point range Wednesday, Buddy Boeheim shot much better from beyond the arc Saturday. He converted on 3-of-8 shots from long range, and his makes often came at moments where the Orange needed the offense most. Early in the game, Buddy’s pull-ups from the free throw line were SU’s only source of offense, and even those fell sparingly.But in the second half, Buddy converted on two 3-pointers that brought SU within five points. His quick releases in transition allowed the momentum to pivot quickly in SU’s direction, and many of Syracuse’s biggest runs contained a Buddy 3-pointer. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textA lot of runEarly in the game, the Orange — due to the bruising power of 6-foot-9, 257-pound Mike Watkins — were getting dominated down low. Without strength to match from Bourama Sidibe and Marek Dolezaj, SU relied on Quincy Guerrier to add a different element to the Orange’s interior game. In his most minutes of the season, Guerrier contributed tough rebounding and strong interior offense as well as a strength to both Watkins’ inside attempts. Guerrier finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, a total far higher than the next-best SU rebounder (five). Guerrier said earlier in the year that SU head coach Jim Boeheim has encouraged him to utilize his strength early on in his career. Despite mixed results, Guerrier was a necessary edition with Watkins patrolling the inside for PSU. He made strong moves on the wing, battled down low and even knocked down a 3-pointer.Thought they were “free”After Buddy was fouled on a 3-pointer early in the game, one of SU’s best shooters headed to the line with a chance to put Syracuse up for the first time. But instead he missed the last two, a start to yet another poor free throw shooting performances for the 236th-ranked free throw shooting team in the country.Syracuse shot 22-of-33 from the line on the game, each miss coming at a time in which the Orange could have used points to climb out of its game-long deficit. Commentslast_img

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