No 4-9 over the final few minutes, no frequent empty trips from the free throw line, and no drama for Syracuse as they pull off the upset of Louisville 69-59 inside the Carrier Dome on Wednesday. The Orange finally made their trips to the charity stripe count as they pulled off an upset victory over the 12th ranked Cardinals.
In recent losses, Syracuse has struggled from the free-throw line this season. It has been a historical issue for the Orange, but that is a discussion for another day. Focusing on this year, Syracuse was 6-13 in a loss to Duke, 20-30 in a close loss at Pittsburgh, 8-19 in a close loss to Miami, 10-20 in a loss to St. John's and 9-16 in a loss to California.
Even in some wins it has been an issue. They missed 13 free-throws in a win over Virginia Tech at home and 12 in a win over the Hokies on the road.
Not this time, however. Syracuse was 21-27 from the line on the night, a solid 78% effort. As a team, they were shooting just 65% coming into the game. That includes 11-12 over the final 6:16 of the game.
Michael Gbinije, who had been struggling mightily from the line throughout the season, went 5-6 at the charity stripe including some critical ones down the stretch. Rakeem Christmas finished 11-13 as well.
As facet of the game that normally haunts the Orange proved to be a strength Wednesday night. They will need it to be going forward if they hope to rattle off a few more wins before the season ends.