Cornell Recap - Three for None

The three-pointer was a no show for Syracuse basketball last night in its home game against Cornell. The Orange managed to squeak out a 67-62 victory, no thanks to its efforts behind the arc.

Had it not been for some heroics late in the game by freshman guard Eric Devendorf, the Orange would have left the Coaches vs. Cancer tournament empty handed after only the second round. The victory surprised even Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim.

"I thought any time you shoot 1-for-19 from the three point line, usually you're going to lose," he said. "We are reliant on the perimeter shot. We're more of a perimeter team, and the times we don't make shots it's going to be a long night for us."

Junior forward Demetrius Nichols connected on three threes in Tuesday night's game against Bethune-Cookman, and knocked down his first one last night 49 seconds into the game. But, it went downhill from there.

The early shot was the only three point field goal the Orange would see all night. Senior guard Gerry McNamara is Syracuse's usual suspect for hitting threes, but he went 0-for-10 last night. McNamara collected the majority of his points from the free throw line last night, capitalizing on 13 of his 14 free throw attempts. McNamara has one three pointer so far this season.

Not only was the Orange not dropping its outside shots, but its defense allowed Cornell's Adam Gore and Lenny Collins to combine for ten three point field goals. The 30 points accounted for almost half the team's total points. It took the SU defense more than three quarters of the game to adjust to the Big Red's outside shooters. The Orange initially tried using a man-to-man defense but eventually had to revert to Boeheim's famous 2-3 match-up zone for help.

"You just have to get on the shooters because they're going to hit shots," junior guard Louie McCroskey said. "Basketball is about different match-ups. (Cornell) plays so poised and they're going to get the ball in deep and they're going to make shots. We just have to try to make sure that they don't get open looks. We made some lapses man-to-man so that's why we had to go zone the last four minutes, but luckily we did what we can to gut this one out."

Since the Orange had no outside shot, it turned instead to its talent inside the paint. Junior forward Terrence Roberts provided a strong alternative to the three. He kept his team in the game. Roberts recorded a double-double on the night with 19 points and 14 rebounds. He accompanied his contributions with novelty slams a la Hakim Warrick and snagged the Syracuse Regional's Most Valuable Player award after the game for his efforts.

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