Fast reaction: 3 takeaways from Syracuse’s last-minute loss to Notre Dame, 51-49, in the Carrier Dome

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 6, 2018 at 5:23 pm Contact Sam: [email protected] | @Sam4TR After leading for almost the entire game, Syracuse (12-4, 1-2 Atlantic Coast) fell to Notre Dame (13-3 3-0) on Saturday afternoon inside the Carrier Dome, 51-49, on a last-second tip-in by Fighting Irish guard Rex Pflueger. Notre Dame was without its two best players, point guard Matt Farrell and center Bonzie Colson, but Syracuse was unable to secure the home win as the team’s rebounding woes continued and it was unable to make up for that struggle with a season-best day from behind the arc.Late heroics dashedTyus Battle seemed poised to be the hero. Everyone cleared out for Syracuse’s star guard after he had hit a 3 to tie the game at 49 with less than 30 seconds remaining. He had hit that shot, he had secured the steal to put the Orange in this position. Then, he pulled up from the top of the key and was stripped by one Notre Dame defender as T.J. Gibbs beelined for the opposite end.The ball found Gibbs, but the Orange altered his shot and it went wide left, the opposite side of where two Syracuse defenders had crashed to try and prevent the lay-in. Gibbs’ shot bounced directly into the hands of Pflueger. Notre Dame’s junior guard hit the lay-in and sent the Orange home disappointed. Notre Dame led, in total, for just more than three minutes.Syracuse’s rebounding struggle continuesAdvertisementThis is placeholder textElijah Burns’ offensive rebound and put-back toward the end of the second half exposed Syracuse’s biggest struggle on Saturday afternoon. The Notre Dame junior forward and Troy, New York, native leapt over two Syracuse big men for the offensive rebound and put it back to close the gap, again, to one. That hanging around led to the final heroics from Pflueger.The Irish crushed Syracuse on the boards to start the game, and midway through the first half it had nearly as many offensive rebounds (nine) as the Orange had total rebounds (11). Syracuse’s struggles had carried over from its previous game, when Wake Forest became the first team this season to best the Orange on the glass (38 to 29). SU has statistically been one of the nation’s best offensive-rebounding teams this season, and it’s a team built on length, athleticism and defense, including shutting down possessions early with its work on the glass. That makes this a troubling development at the beginning of conference play, particularly because Notre Dame controlled the glass at points without Colson, its best player and rebounder.From downtownWhen Oshae Brissett released a 3-pointer from the top of the key midway through the second half, it was more a necessity than Brissett choosing to shoot. The shot clock was about to expire and Brissett had popped after setting a pick for Battle, who took two dribbles to his left, saw his man too close to shoot and then found the freshman forward. Brissett, a 26-percent shooter from beyond the arc, drilled the shot while illustrating Syracuse’s performance as a team from 3 on Saturday afternoon.The Orange is one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the country, hitting only about 30 percent of its shots. But against the Irish, Syracuse had its best game of the season beyond the arc, hitting 44 percent, helping counter its sudden weakness on the glass and, for a time, hold off a pesky Notre Dame squad that Syracuse never seemed able to separate itself from.Syracuse junior point guard Frank Howard complemented Brissett’s production by continuing the hottest-shooting streak of his career. Excluding a near-full-court heave to end the Wake Forest game, Howard is now seven for his last nine 3-point attempts up top, making 38.2 percent from beyond the arc on the season. Commentslast_img

Leave a Comment