Trio scores nine points for Syracuse in 66-52 loss to Pittsburgh

first_imgIf Jim Boeheim had anyone else, the Syracuse head coach said Tyler Roberson wouldn’t have played a minute. When Boeheim addressed Malachi Richardson, he said the the freshman let a bad practice on Friday turn into a bad game on Saturday. When Cooney got brought up, Boeheim reminded everyone that he couldn’t build off of a game against Louisville where his five 3-pointers made him the offensive star.The trio that makes up three of Syracuse’s top point producers combined to shoot just 2-of-20. They combined to score nine points. Each played their worst offensive game of the season.“We have to have at least two or three guys to make shots. When you don’t make shots, sooner or later it just wears you down,” Boeheim said. “At the end of the day you can look at a lot of different things … but we have to make shots if we’re going to be successful.”Those three Syracuse scorers average nearly 37 points per game, but were held to less than a quarter of that in SU’s (18-10, 8-7 Atlantic Coast) 66-52 loss to Pittsburgh (19-7, 8-6) in the Carrier Dome on Saturday. In addition to shooting, the three collected just five rebounds, and contributed very little as SU tried to stay alive in a back-and-forth game.While the Orange was carried by 21 points from Tyler Lydon, everyone else couldn’t get a feel for the offense. And after his last shot fell with 8:42 left to play, the Orange was outscored, 24-9, down the stretch.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“We just really wanted to emphasize help-side defense,” Pittsburgh guard James Robinson said. “We were pretty familiar with the sets we were going to run, but we knew it was going to come down to those guys penetrating and making plays for themselves or kicking out to one another … We do a pretty good job of knowing other teams’ tendencies.”Cooney flexed his arms as he backpedaled down the court after hitting a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer, his first shot of the game. It put the Orange up 7-2 with 17:54 to play in the first half. Then he missed an open identical looking shot three minutes later. Then another and another. Eight more to be exact.Richardson had the same struggles in the first half, but his trademark has always been a second-half renaissance. But when he shook off a defender on an isolation play to score with 12 minutes left in the second half, it didn’t provide the same boost. That would be his only make of the day.“I had great looks,” Cooney said. “If I knock it down for us, it’s a different ball game.”“I was hoping (to build momentum),” Richardson said. “But it didn’t happen.”Roberson barely spoke after the loss, his normally quiet voice going down another notch. He took only one shot. He grabbed only four rebounds. His 25 minutes on the court were just as ineffective as the 36 that Richardson played or the 34 that Cooney tallied.It was the perfect storm of futility for Syracuse. It was the first time all season that all three were held below double-figure scoring. Richardson was 1-of-8 from the field against Wake Forest. Cooney was 3-of-9 vs. Boston College six days ago. Roberson didn’t register a point in the season-opener vs. Lehigh.Each player has had their worst brand of basketball before. But SU won each of those games by more than 10. But when it all came together on Saturday, there was no one to limit the damage.“I struggled again,” Richardson said. “Everybody did.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 20, 2016 at 5:56 pm Contact Sam: | @SamBlum3last_img

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