Senior Day: Syracuse Orange vs. Louisville Cardinals College Live Blog
I'll be here throughout the game providing in-game updates and analysis, so stay tuned to Bleacher Report and tweet me your questions @dioselev.
It wasn't a perfect game for the Orange, but it was good enough for their 30th win of the regular season and 5th win over a ranked team (if you count Louisville twice). Jim Boeheim will certainly take it, but there are plenty of things to worry about from this game.
Syracuse was outrebounded 37-28 and crushed on the offensive boards, 15-5. The Orange also lost the turnover battle 14-13. If it wasn't for some horrific shooting from the Cardinals (33.9 percent from the field, 8.7 percent from three) then the Orange could have easily lost this game.
Jardine must play better if the Orange are going to make any kind of noise in the NCAA Tournament, and Melo needs to do a better job holding down the paint. The Cardinals took 17 more shots today but only paid 2 more. Part of that is thanks to Syracuse's good defense, but part of that is also just bad luck.
Goats of the Game:
Chris Smith, G, Louisville - It's not fair to pile all the blame for Louisville's poor shooting on Smith, but the senior did brick all five of his three-point attempts and only made one of eight shots for a total of 3 points. The Cardinals finished the game shooting 2-23 from three.
Scoop Jardine, G, Syracuse - This may not be a game that Jardine looks back on with fond memories. The senior was held scoreless on four shots and had as many turnovers (3) as assists. He did record the 14th block of his Syracuse career, so at least it's not all bad.
Peyton Siva, G, Louisville - It's hard to identify the main culprit for Louisville's poor effort, but pointing the figure at Siva may be a good start. The Cardinals' leading assist man had four dishes on the day, but Siva also committed 6 of his team's 13 turnovers.
Players of the Game:
Kris Joseph, F, Syracuse - The senior captain didn't have the best game of his career, but he treated the Orange faithful to another outstanding performance in a winning effort. Joseph finished with 11 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and one very loud standing ovation.
Brandon Triche, G, Syracuse - Triche put the game out of reach early in the second half by knocking down threes. He led all scorers with 18 points (5-10 field goals, 3-6 threes) and finished with a team-high 4 assists.
Chane Behanan, F, Louisville - Behanan may be the only Cardinals player who won't receive a verbal lashing from coach Rick Pitino after the game. The freshman led Louisville in scoring (10 points) and rebounding (7 rebounds). He was also the only Cardinals player not to commit a turnover.
Reese misses a three at the buzzer but the Orange win their 30th game of the season, 57-46. Post-game reactions and analysis in a few.
Joseph (11 points) takes a seat and gets a standing ovation from the Syracuse crowd. Jardine (0 points) also sits for fellow senior Brandon Reese.
Dion "Boss" Waiters knocks down a three and the Orange are going to win this one. Bring in the seniors!
I didn't know Triche was a magician! Impressive dribbling down the court. Just misses the basket but hits both free throws to push the lead back to 14. 2 minutes to go.
Jardine with an impressive dribble drive, sending his defender to the floor. But the shot is short and Jardine is still scoreless. Now is not the time for Jardine to showboat. The Orange haven't won this just yet.
The Cardinals with a little bit of life here. But just a little. Jardine misses a free throw in what could be his last opportunity to get on the board today. 50-40 Syracuse, 4 minutes to go.
Kuric hits his first three but it's too little too late. The Syracuse lead is still at 14 and the clock is ticking. Under 6 minutes to go.
Jardine finally hits a shot! ....But it's after the whistle. Poor Jardine.
Joseph with the exclamation point! Impressive fast break for the Orange pushes the lead to 19, the largest of the day. The senior is up to 11 points, the third Syracuse player in double figures.
If the Orange can keep this up then all the seniors should be able to get a proper send off.
Fair finally making his impact with two straight baskets. Beautiful mid-range game for the sophomore. I wish more college players could knock down that quick turnaround. Instead, everyone and their uncle just hoists ill-advised three's.
Beautiful move by Joseph to get the score and the foul. Just the second basket for the senior. Joseph and Jardine have combined for 5 points on Senior Day. The juniors (Triche and Southerland) have a combined 20 points. The sophomores (Waiters, Fair, Melo, Keita) have 10 points. And the freshmen (Christmas, Carter-Williams) have one point.
Brandon Triche is on a personal mission to outscore the entire Louisville team. He's got 6 points to go. 34-19 Syracuse.
Louisville has shot 31.9 percent from three on the season. Today, they're 1-11. The Orange know what that's like. They were 1-15 against the Cardinals in last month's matchup.
The Orange came out strong to start the second half and stretched the lead to 12 with a couple of baskets from Brandon Triche. The Cardinals look ready to leave Syracuse for Madison Square Garden and the Big East Tournament.
Goats of the Half:
Peyton Siva, G, Louisville - Siva wasn't the only Cardinals starter held scoreless (Chris Smith is still waiting to get on the board), but his 2 turnovers stand out as a prime reason why the Louisville has only 19 points at the half.
Scoop Jardine, G, Syracuse - Jardine isn't doing any better his second time out against the Cardinals this season. The senior has zero points on 0-3 shooting and as many assists (1) as turnovers.
Kyle Kuric, G/F, Louisville - Pitino's decision to bring Kuric off the bench hasn't paid off, as the senior is still waiting to hit his first shot and has done little else of value today.
Stars of the Half:
Dion Waiters, G, Syracuse - The sophomore guard energized the Orange offense by driving to the basket and creating opportunities for his teammates. Waiters goes into the half with a line of 6 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds.
Jared Swopshire, F, Louisville - Swopshire is tied for the team lead in points (4) and leads all players with 5 rebounds. He seems to be the only Cardinals player willing to go into the paint against Fab Melo.
James Southerland, F, Syracuse - Southerland is normally a three-point specialist, but the junior has come off the bench for Syracuse and contributed in other ways. His 3 rebounds and 2 blocks helped put the Cardinals into an offensive funk, and his 7 points leads all players.
And we go to the half with Syracuse leading 26-19. That's not a typo...2 of the top 20 teams in the country have combined for 45 points in a half of basketball. The walk-on's must be licking their chops.
First half analysis and reaction in a few!
What is this, hot potato?
Louisville finally hits a field goal, their first one in about 10 minutes. Rick Pitino must feel like he's coaching the Friars again. 26-19 Syracuse.
The Syracuse bench has 14 points with Southerland (7) and Waiters (6) leading the way. Still nothing from Jardine, but the rest of the team has been playing well.
Syracuse is taking over the game. Strong defense + smart passes = easy shots. It's a 10-point lead for the Orange with four minutes to go in the first half. 17-1 run
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