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Deeper Dive: Syracuse Battles Past Clemson

Breaking down Syracuse's buzzer beating win over Clemson.

Top Performer: Another 20 point game for Syracuse senior Andrew White, who poured in a game-high 23 points. He hit several big shots in this one, including a three to give the Orange the lead back late in the game. He also grabbed five rebounds. White carried the Orange offense at times, and they needed every one of those 23 points. 

Bottom Feeder: It goes to Frank Howard again, but it is not fair to rip him for his performance. He played eight minutes, scored three points, dished out two assists and grabbed three rebounds. While Howard was not spectacular in his limited action, he was not bad either. 

Stat of the Game: Should be titled stats for this one. But how crazy is this? Both Syracuse and Clemson made 29 baskets. Both were 14-17 from the free-throw line. Syracuse made 10 three-pointers while Clemson made nine. That one three-pointer turned out to be the difference. It is amazing how close all of those numbers are to each other. Neither team played great defense, as Clemson shot 54% from the floor while Syracuse made 51% of their attempts. 

Other Notable Stat: Further evidence of Syracuse's lack of defensive prowess? The Orange did not record a single block, only forced eight turnovers, and allowed Clemson to shoot 41% from deep. 

Turning Point: With seven seconds remaining, John Gillon raced past midcourt, handed the ball to Tyler Lydon who drove into the lane. Lydon saw a wide open Tyus Battle in the corner, and kicked the ball out to him. Battle fired as the clock was winding down, and the ball swished as the buzzer sounded. Ball game. You can watch the play HERE

He Said It: "The last play, we were going to spread it out. We saw that the center was playing on Tyus, so we wanted to try to go to the basket. Then the center's going to come back in and hit him. It's a tough shot. It's a wide open shot, but he's been shooting the ball well this year. He didn't have a great night tonight, but when he caught it, I thought he was going to make it. Great shot. Big time play." - Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim on the buzzer beater.

Five Takeaways:

  1. Syracuse seems to be comfortable playing from behind. Tuesday's win marked the third straight game in which Syracuse trailed by double digits but came back to win. It was also the fourth straight tight contest, where the outcome was in doubt in the final moments. This team is building momentum and believes they can win more than at any point in the season. 
  2. This was the second straight strong game for John Gillon. He scored 13 points and dished out eight assists while not turning it over. Gillon was also 7-7 from the free-throw line. He is becoming a leader on the floor for the Orange. 
  3. Freshman Tyus Battle may not have had a stellar game prior to the game winner, but his ability to forget that and make a shot when it mattered the most tells you all you need to know about this kid. Battle has limitless potential. He was just 1-6 shooting before the game winning three.
  4. Syracuse was very active on the glass in this one. They dominated the rebounding battle. Lydon finished with nine, Tyler Roberson grabbed seven and White snatched five. It was a big positive to see them take strides in that area. 
  5. Defense on the road is still a problem. Clemson got good looks for most of the game, though Syracuse did play good defense for the final nine minutes of the first half. Still, they have to shore things up there as they play a very good offensive team in Pittsburgh on Saturday. They must stay aggressive, rotate, stay disciplined and not allow easy looks the basket. 

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