The Syracuse Orange returned to action off a short hiatus on ESPN’s Big Monday to host the Louisville Cardinals from the Carrier Dome. Syracuse once again dug itself into a big hole early only to climb back to make things interesting. It took overtime to decide the contest but ultimately Louisville won 76-72 in extra time.
Louisville came out ready to play and suffocated the Syracuse offense. Frankly, the Orange were stagnant on O and found themselves down by as much as 14 in the first half. Syracuse was able to go on an 11-1 run to close the half to get within four at the break.
If stellar play by Taurean Thompson to start second halves wasn’t a thing before, it is now as the freshman big man scored Syracuse’s first six points out of intermission. Much like Syracuse’s home games in the conference, the second half was a seesaw affair with both teams trading baskets and (mostly) stops.
Frank Howard stepped up big in the second half with a lay-up, assist to Tyler Lydon for three and a three-point play that gave Syracuse the lead. Despite all that, Louisville went on a 9-0 after that sequence, giving itself a seven point cushion at the under four minute media timeout. Syracuse once again came back on two big threes from John Gillon, which ending up forcing overtime.
Syracuse fell behind eight extra time but managed to cut it to two late. The Orange had a chance to tie or take the lead with less than 15 seconds but a missed three by White went awry. Tyler Roberson hauled in an offensive rebound and was fouled with a chance to tie the game with 2.7 second remaining. Roberson missed the first, intentionally missed the second and Gillon stepped out of bound with 0.9 left, all but sealing the game for the Cardinals.
White had a tough shooting night going 2-14 from distance but still managed to finish with 22 points and 8 rebounds. Lydon had 14 points and 9 rebounds while Thompson and Gillon both finished with 11 points. Howard had 8 points and 2 assists off the bench. Syracuse finished the night shooting 24.2 percent from downtown.
Syracuse now has a considerable break between games as it won’t play again until Sunday. The Orange travels to Georgia Tech for its second to last official road game of the season. That game tips off at 6:30 from McCamish Pavilion.