Lack of Orange offense leads to big Virginia win, 59-44

Men's basketball lose to Virginia 59-44

This was the lowest points total ever by Syracuse Orange in the Carrier Dome.
Published: February 4, 2018

The Syracuse Orange fell to the Virginia Cavaliers 59-44 in front of the biggest on campus crowd at a college basketball game this season. The Carrier Dome was filled with 27,083 fans to see the Orange take on the nationally ranked Cavaliers.

Offense was the biggest problem on the afternoon for Syracuse against Virginia’s difficult defense. The Orange shot just over 33 percent from the field, while the Cavaliers shot almost 49 percent.

“That’s really the bottom line the last three games. We’ve had trouble scoring,” Coach Jim Boeheim said.

Early in the game the Orange kept up with the Cavaliers using good ball movement to create good shots.

However, the tides turned in the last seven minutes of the first half. Syracuse would not score for over five minutes. The Cavaliers went on a 13-point run and never looked back.

“The reason we shot poorly here was their defense,” Boehiem said.

Tyus Battle led Syracuse with 15 points while Frank Howard scored 11. Going into the second half Battle had 7 points and Howard only had five. De’Andre Hunter led Virginia with 15.

“We rely on our two guards to score and make plays and when they don’t, we have a problem offensively,“ Coach Boeheim said.

In the second half Virginia led by as many as 21 points. Syracuse didn’t just struggle from the field they also had a hard time beyond the arc. The Orange went 1 for 10 in the second half, scoring just 4 three pointers the whole game. Tyus Battle said that movement was key factor in Syracuse getting better shots off. While Frank Howard felt his team needed to be more aggressive Syracuse still has eight games left to play this season and is trying to focus on finishing the season strong. Syracuse will take on Louisville on the road at 7 p.m. on Monday. The Cardinals are 16-7.

“Like I said before we play in the best conference in the country. So there is gonna be some tough games to win, but if we win those games they mean a lot,” Tyus Battle said.

Boeheim doesn’t feel that his team’s morale has been brought down by the loss to Virginia.

“As an athlete and a competitor, you should never be disheartened,” Boeheim said.

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is a contributor to The NewsHouse at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.