Syracuse Falls to No. 8 Louisville in Overtime
The Syracuse men’s basketball team came up just short of upsetting No. 8 Louisville (21-5, 9-4 ACC) in the Carrier Dome on Monday night, losing 76-72 in overtime.
Most people counted the Orange (16-11, 8-6 ACC) out after the went down 14 points early in the first half. But SU battled the entire game and head coach Jim Boeheim said his team showed a lot of heart in the loss.
“These guys fight. They fight as hard as you can fight. When you’re down against Louisville by seven, eight or nine in regulation and come back and have a chance to actually win the game is an unbelievable effort,” said Boeheim.
The Orange found themselves in a seven point hole with just under four and a half minutes to play in the second half. With the help of two big threes from guard John Gillon they closed the gap and went into overtime tied 58-58.
In extra time, Syracuse again found themselves in a big hole. They were down 71-63 with only 45 seconds to play. Fans began to filter out of the stadium, but the players on the Orange sideline were not ready to quit.
Forward Andrew White hit a three-pointer and then two possessions later, White drew a foul on a three point shot. He sunk all three free throws and with 13 seconds left ‘Cuse was back in the game down 74-72.
White finished with 22 points and extended his streak of consecutive games with 20 or more points to seven.
Then the Orange had a chance to tie the game. With five seconds left on the clock, Andrew White chucked up a deep three-point shot off the mark. Tyler Roberson grabbed the board for Syracuse and was fouled with three seconds left, sending him to the line with a chance to tie the game.
Roberson, who is shooting 48% from the line, missed them both and Louisville would hang on to win.
Even when Syracuse faced what seemed like insurmountable deficits, freshman guard Tyus Battle says the Orange never lost faith.
“I knew we were never out of this game. Everyone on this team has a lot of heart and they always fight to comeback,” said Battle.
Being down big is something the Orange are now accustom to seeing. Monday’s game marked the fifth consecutive game that Syracuse was down by double digits at one point in the contest.
Even though this game is a loss in the record books, Boeheim was happy with the determination, effort, his team’s refusal to quit when times got tough.
Syracuse will look to bring that same attitude back onto the court on Sunday Feb. 19 when they face Georgia Tech on the road.