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Fast reaction: 3 quick takeaways from Syracuse’s 82-77 overtime loss to Villanova

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ PHILADELPHIA — Syracuse shocked a lot of people — myself included — by putting up such a valiant fight with No. 7 Villanova on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center.Though the Orange blew a chance to upset the Wildcats and fell 82-77 in overtime, there were several positives of SU’s to take from Saturday.1. Healing the camel’s backApparently Michael Gbinije’s back is feeling OK.The junior hit five of his first six shots and had 11 points by halftime, proving that the tightness he felt in his back on Sunday against Louisiana Tech was no longer an issue.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHe looked comfortable stepping into jumpers from the elbows, bringing the ball upcourt against Villanova’s pesky guards and elevating high for rebounds. Although he committed a trio of turnovers, Gbinije flirted with a triple-double by finishing with 11 points, eight rebounds and five assists and, for the first meaningful time all season, was a reliable scorer. In overtime, he added a basket, but missed a free throw before fouling out amid Syracuse’s five-minute period of unraveling.2. ‘He’s learning how to be a point guard’Combating Jim Boeheim’s words that he’s not quite a point guard, Kaleb Joseph looked every bit of one Saturday afternoon.In addition to steadily hitting midrange jumpers, Joseph guided the Orange offense’s scorching first half with seven assists and continued to find his teammates in positions to score throughout the second frame.When it was all said and done, Joseph left the Wells Fargo Center floor with 10 points on 5-of-13 shooting and one rebound.3. Senior dayTrevor Cooney nailed a trio of 3-pointers and forward Rakeem Christmas efficiently was the scoring machine he’s been all season.Cooney canned a few 3s that bailed SU out of a few lengthy possessions that neared the end of the shot clock, while Christmas shot 8-of-12.Even though the big man battled foul trouble in his return home to Philadelphia, he made the most of his minutes and topped the Orange with 18 points before fouling out of the game in overtime. Comments Published on December 20, 2014 at 3:51 pmlast_img read more

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