The Syracuse Orange men's basketball team has now endured three straight losses late in the season in the Big East Conference, all to ranked teams.
Those defeats took them from tied for first place to now out of the top three.
"We're still staying positive," said sophomore guard Michael Carter-Williams. "We can't get down. Just thinking about DePaul, trying to get back on a winning streak. That's all I can do as of right now."
Despite losses to the Georgetown Hoyas, Marquette Golden Eagles, and Lousiville Cardinals back-to-back-to-back, Carter-Williams did not think a win was ever out of reach in those matches. "I think we was in all the games," Carter-Williams stated. "They're all good teams. We just need to compete better and make smarter decisions down the stretch."
Syracuse made six turnovers in the second half against Georgetown, three of them coming from Carter-Williams. Nine points were scored off of those turnovers in an 11-point win by the Hoyas.
The Orange gave up the ball nine times to the Golden Eagles in the second half, resulting in 13 points for Marquette, helping them to a 74-71 win over Syracuse.
Versus the Cardinals, the Orange turned the ball over 10 times in the second half, which led to 11 points for Louisville, who would win by five, 58-53.
Along with losing possession to Louisville, Carter-Williams and fellow guard, senior Brandon Triche, had a poor night from the field, going 3-for-10 and 2-for-11, respectively. When asked how difficult it is for Syracuse to win when himself and Triche struggle from the field, Carter-Williams responded, "It's real hard, 'cause we gotta play well for us to win. So, we just gotta keep playing and be more productive."
Looking at where the Orange need to improve the most, "Just down the stretch," Carter-Williams expressed. "We just need to do a better job of being more productive and being able to get baskets down the stretch."
In the last 7:34 of their match with Louisville, Syracuse would go a span of over 2:30 without a score. They would make three of seven from there.
"Playing better defense down the stretch, too," Carter-Williams added. "We gave up a three at the end, which kind of ended the game for us." Despite only allowing two field goals to the Cardinals in the final 7:34, those two baskets decided the end result, both being threes to give Louisville six points on their way to a five-point victory.
Looking back to his own offense, Carter-Williams responded to whether or not shot selection is an issue for the Orange. "I don't know, I'm not sure," he said. "For the most part, I think we had some good looks [versus Louisville]. We didn't shoot the ball great. We just need to shoot the ball better." The Orange went 7-for-15 on jump shots in the second half against the Cardinals, but were 6-for-27 to open the game.