Eight 70-foot buzzer beaters is a tall order but that's what it would have taken for the Golden Griffins to come back and beat the Orange last night. Lack of last-second shots withstanding, the Orange won 82-60 although it wasn't always the easy win it ended up being.
The Orange got off to another Syracuse Slow Start©and only began to pull away late in the first
quarter half to take a 43-34 lead into the lockerroom. But the 2nd half was all SU, they out-scored the Griffins by 13 and won easily.
SU spread the wealth on offense. Rick Jackson led the team with 14 points, 8 rebounds and 3 of SU's 9 blocks. Wait, what? Rick Jackson? WTF? Yep, Jackson has officially worked his way into the rotation and is beginning to make the most of it:
Jackson logged 21 minutes in the game and made the most of his opportunity to impress. He scored a career-high 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting, collected eight rebounds and blocked three shots.
Paul Harris added 13 points and 11 rebounds while Arinze Onuaku added 12 and 9. Jonny Flynn scored 12 as well and Devo scored 10. If we're going to mention Flynn though we have to mention the mysterious circumstances under which he sat out most of the end of the game. Brent Axe fills us in:
Something may be up with Jonny Flynn. He sat out most of the last 10 minutes of the game with tightness in his right leg (muscle pull?) which according to Boeheim wasn't a serious issue, but there is more to it than that. He just hasn't seemed like his usual self the past few games. Maybe I'm spoiled because of how dominant he has been in the past, but I think there is more to that story. Like some bumps and bruises he has suffered that we may not be privy too. His outside shot was especially bad in this one (0-for-4). There was one three-point attempt where he pump-faked his defender out of his shoes and had plenty of time to fire up the open shot...and almost air balled it.
Harrumph. Not the kind of thing we want happening, especially if we are going to lose Devo.
Noticably absent from the top of the scoring sheet again was Andy Rautins. Rauts had a so-so evening (6 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists) but still seems to be looknig for his shot. Patience, it seems, will be required.
Jim Boeheim, for one, is hopeful and excited about the team's chances in their next game. It's their biggest test in weeks...a road game at #23 Memphis.
"We're not playing well and I don't think we've played well all year."
- Mike Waters has his official recap of the game.
- Brent Axe adds the happy recap along with quotes from Jimmy B and the players.
- Cuse Country wonders if tonight's game was a hint of things to come.
- The Three Idiots have photographic proof of the depantsed Griffins. Or at least one Griffin.
The Memphis game is this Saturday at 6pm EST on ESPN. A win here and the Orange might not even drop from their current ranking. A loss is not the end of the world, but given the recent funk the team is in, would not send the right message.