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Four takeaways from SU's 74-73 overtime loss to Clemson

Four takeaways from SU's overtime loss to Clemson.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Syracuse lost another heartbreaker in overtime last night at the Carrier Dome. The Clemson Tigers came to Central New York and stole a victory from the Orange, 74-73.

Here are my four takeaways from the game:

1. Michael Gbinije still isn't himself: Despite scoring a game-high 22 points, Michael Gbinije struggled to shoot the ball, again, on Tuesday night. He finished the game 7-for-19 from the floor, but a dreadful 4-for-13 from 3-point range. His 4-for-7 free throw performance was about average and he didn't turn the ball over in his 42 minutes of action. We've said it all along - as Gbinije goes, Syracuse goes. But his poor shooting performances of late have really hurt the Orange, especially during their 3-game losing streak. 

2. Malachi Richardson is wise beyond his years: Richardson scored 21 points on his twentieth birthday last night, but he was miserable after the game. The 6-foot-6 freshman took the blame for the loss, ultimately saying "If I make the free throw, the second free throw after the timeout, we win the game." Without Malachi's 21 points, there's no telling where the Orange would've been last night. But despite everything that happened, and all of his contributions, Richardson took responsibility for the loss. To me, it says a lot about his character. 

3. Lydon at the 5 isn't balancing out: Mike Hopkins said after the game that Syracuse was forced to play Tyler Lydon at the five to produce better offensive possessions, but they knew it would come at a high price. Clemson scored 40 points in the paint in 45 minutes of play last night. Not all were due to Lydon's defensive effort, but SU continuously got beat backdoor and on the baseline. If Syracuse was looking for better offensive possessions with Lydon in the game, they didn't get them. The freshman finished 1-for-6 from the field, totaling four points. On Tuesday, suffering on the defensive end of the floor didn't even itself out - it killed the Orange. 

4. Resilience: Syracuse never quit, which is a positive takeaway from last night. After being down eight points at halftime, they got back into the game with their resilient play. The Orange had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation and overtime, but failed to do so. SU is 0-3 in league play for the first time since the 1996-97 team, but there is no sign of quit in this group. They're young and relentless; two traits that make the future look bright. 

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