Well, at least Andrew White III kept his 20-point scoring streak going.
This game tore the hearts out of every Syracuse Orange fan’s chest during the final minutes of regulation and overtime. The Orange made two massive comebacks but fell short at the end as their late game execution failed to come through.
It was a team effort from the top down, but Syracuse’s most reliable scorer failed to get his shot going from the tip. White finished with 22 points on 7-of-24 shooting and 2-of-14 from deep. The length of Louisville’s perimeter players created trouble for White, but the most surprising aspect from his night was the open shots he missed.
White was able to get to the lane at times and finish through contact, his most impressive play being his and-one basket to start overtime. Despite the three-point play, White’s ineffective three-point shot just wouldn’t fall when it mattered most.
John Gillon was able to get in the lane with ease tonight, as he sucked the tall Louisville defenders in, which allowed the perimeter shooters to get open. That would ttypically be a positive for Syracuse, a team that relies and excels on their lethal three-point shooting ability. But tonight, the Orange couldn’t even throw a rock in the ocean.
The Orange finished 8-of-34 from deep, as their three most reliable long-range shooters combined for just seven makes on 27 attempts from beyond the arc. SU’s effort was exceptional for stretches tonight, but poor shooting outweighs effort at the end of the day, as seen in the Carrier Dome.
White managed to contribute in other ways by tallying eight rebounds against the taller Cardinals forwards. He refused to quit down the stretch as his endless three-point attempts aggressively attempted to end the slump. That failed, however. White has been the backbone of the Orange’s offense all season long — it just ended up being the wrong night to go ice cold.
Syracuse was as close as it gets to beating their third top ten team of the year; unfortunately, close losses don’t show up in the win column. The Orange will get one more shot against Louisville on February 26, but right now Syracuse needs to take it one game at a time starting with Georgia Tech on Sunday.
White will have ample opportunities to shake this game off in the coming weeks. He’ll need to if the Orange are going to make the NCAA Tournament this year.