Despite free throw woes, SU whips Louisville

Syracuse beat Louisville by 13 points in its 79-66 victory Saturday night at the Carrier Dome, but the game never should have been that close. The Orange shot a season low 41 percent from the free-throw line, going 19-46 from the charity stripe.

The Orange missed 27 free throws total in the game. To put that number in perspective, before Saturday Syracuse had only missed 29 free throws in its last five games combined. Orange forward Terrence Roberts was the lead culprit, going 1-7 from the charity stripe against Louisville.

"I kind of brought everybody down," Roberts said. "Because even our best free throw shooters were missing."

Senior Gerry McNamara, by far the Orange's best free throw shooter at 92 percent, was below his average. He went 6-7 from the line. Forward Demetris Nichols, normally a 70 percent free throw shooter, also struggled, missing both of his attempts for the night. In fact, there was only one player who saw the floor that didn't miss any free throws-Eric Devendorf. And, that's because he didn't have any attempts.

"Maybe people saw each other missing free throws and they thought about it too much," Devendorf said. "You just have to go to the line and shoot and not think."

The "thinking about it too much" theory didn't hold much water with coach Jim Boeheim. He said the answer is much simpler than that.

"We don't have good free-throw shooters," Boeheim said. "If you put them on the line they're not going to make it."

Roberts made the point that the Orange made its shots when it needed to, towards the end of the game. Syracuse made seven of its last nine free throws. Even so, senior guard Gerry McNamara said the Orange can't afford to shoot like that again.

"We gotta shake that off," McNamara said. "That's terrible, 19-for-46. We're hopefully not going to shoot that poorly ever again."

Boeheim did not comment on whether or not Syracuse would take additional time in practice to work on free throws, but only said he wasn't going to waste his time worrying about the team's performance from the line against Louisville.

"What good does it do to worry about it?" Boeheim asked. "We've got bad free throw shooters, (but we) won. You can only worry about the things you've got some kind of control over. I think somebody smarter than me said that."

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