SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- After winning the Battle 4 Atlantis last week, the Orange returned to Syracuse both undefeated, and ranked. They're still ranked, but you can cross undefeated off the list.
Wisconsin, who came into Wednesday's game with a 4-3 record, slowed down SU's up-tempo style of play. The Badgers forced eleven turnovers tonight, en route to a 66-58 overtime victory.
"They're a very disciplined team," freshman Tyler Lydon said. "I just felt like the ball didn't bounce our way tonight."
The Orange were getting out-rebounded 23-11 at the half. Nine of Wisconsin's first-half rebounds were on the offensive end, leading to six points. Malachi Richardson led Syracuse with four first-half rebounds, something he isn't known for.
Dajuan Coleman played five minutes in the first half, grabbed three rebounds and didn't play at all in the second half. His three rebounds was the third highest on the team.
"Yeah, it's frustrating," Coleman said. "But, what can you do? I guess he (Boeheim) don't trust me out there."
When asked if Dajuan Coleman may have been injured, Boeheim quickly responded, "No."
He did, however, cite a missed assignment in the zone as the reason for the lack of minutes.
"They hit the two short-corner jump shots, and that's his spot," Boeheim said. "Tyler's (Lydon) been playing unbelievable in the middle, and we won the tournament because we played him in the center spot. So, I thought it'd be a good idea to try to do what we've been doing, seeing how we just won a big tournament. It's pretty simple, really."
Tyler Lydon played seventeen first-half minutes, a season-high. He scored two points and had two rebounds. By the middle-to-late second half, Lydon was visibly exhausted. The 6-foot-9 forward was crossing his hands and putting them behind his head at nearly every dead ball. He finished with four points and four rebounds in 42 minutes of action. These 30+ minute games may be catching up with him, although he wouldn't admit it.
"Everyone in here is a competitor," he said with ice all over his body. "I don't really feel any pressure. I know our guys are gonna battle and give it their all, and so am I."
Syracuse trailed, 27-24 at halftime.
In the second half, the Orange led by as many as six points, but it wasn't enough. Wisconsin's relentless defense and burn offense really halted SU's momentum throughout the game.
Trevor Cooney and Michael Gbinije hit three consecutive 3-pointers roughly halfway through the second half, which seemed to be a momentum-changer.
"Yeah, the momentum shifted. We got a little breathing room, but they did a good job of making plays," Gbinije said.
"I thought we battled in that second half," Boeheim added. "We cannot miss free throws coming down the stretch."
Syracuse shot 55% (11-for-20) from the free-throw line tonight.
"Free throws can close games out, or allow you to not close games out," Gbinije said.
Tonight, it cost SU a victory.
"My confidence stays the same whether I get in for thirty minutes, or five," the sophomore guard said. "Anytime you lose you're never really too happy from it. He continued, "We need to finish at the line. If we're not making shots early on, we need to attack the rim."
Boeheim saw a lot out of Joseph tonight, which will likely lead to more minutes. "Kaleb had a really good first half," the 71-year-old said. "I thought he would make something happen in the second half."
Malachi Richardson was held in check tonight, scoring eight points in 39 minutes. He led the Orange with seven rebounds.
Senior guard Michael Gbinije led all-scorers with 19 points.
Syracuse travels to Georgetown on Saturday for a 1:00 p.m. ET tip-off. The game will be televised on FOX.