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Duke 73 - Syracuse 54: Five Big Takeaways

We revisit Saturday's game.

Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

For the second time in two weeks, the Syracuse Orange were bested by the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday, this time falling 73-54 at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Here are five takeaways:

1. Christmas again loses showdown with Okafor.

Rakeem Christmas put forth one of his least productive outings of the season when Duke and Syracuse met at the Carrier Dome on Valentine's Day, scoring just 11 points on 5-of-17 shooting. He wasn't much better Saturday, again scoring 11 points and grabbing only five rebounds before fouling out at the 9:42 mark of the second half. And as was the case two weeks ago, Christmas was outplayed by Blue Devils big man and fellow ACC Player of the Year candidate Jahlil Okafor, who finished with 13 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Christmas has made incredible strides this season, but shrinking twice against Okafor won't help his NBA Draft stock.

2. Cooney, Gbinije go cold.

Ultimately, the Orange lost because of one thing: they missed shots and the Blue Devils made shots. Syracuse shot just 30.6 percent from the field and was even worse from 3-point range (15 percent). Trevor Cooney and Michael Gbinije, SU's two best outside shooters, combined to go 10-of-36 from the field and just 3-of-17 from beyond the arc. There seemed to be a lid on the basket all night for Syracuse, and especially for Cooney and Gbinije.

3. The Orange had no answer for Justise Winslow.

Justise Winslow left his fingerprints all over Saturday's game. The guard got whatever he wanted offensively, scoring 23 points and knocking down three of his five 3-point attempts. He stuffed the rest of the stat sheet with nine rebounds, three blocks, and two steals. Afterwards, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said Winslow was the difference in the game, something I won't argue with.

4. Tyler Roberson: the lone bright spot.

If there was one silver lining for Syracuse in the 19-point loss, it was the play of Tyler Roberson. The forward had team-highs of 16 points and nine rebounds for the Orange, nearly matching his 19-point, 10-rebound performance in the first SU-Duke meeting. It marked the sixth time in 11 games that Roberson has scored in double figures. In Syracuse's first 18 games, he scored in double figures only four times. Needless to say, he's improved greatly on the offensive end as the season has progressed.

5. Syracuse's worst showing of the season? Maybe.

Before Saturday, the Orange hadn't lost a game all season by more than 14 points, making the 19-point loss Syracuse's largest margin of defeat this season. Little went right for SU throughout the night, as Duke never trailed after taking a 17-14 lead at the 9:41 mark of the first half. The Orange have suffered other bad losses this season -- they lost by 14 to Cal and by 13 at Clemson -- but you could certainly make the case that Saturday was their worst showing yet, especially coming off of the win at Notre Dame.