Monday, January 24, 2011

Villanova Unleashes 3-Point Clinic on Syracuse


When Rick Jackson misses an uncontested monster slam in the first five minutes of a game, it can't be a good sign for the Syracuse Orangemen. Jackson was able to recover and score 16 points along with 15 rebounds, however the Cuse could not keep up the pace with which Villanova was knocking down 3-pointers. Nova made 11 of 24 3-point shots (8 in the first half) and knocked off the Syracuse Orangemen 83-72 in the Carrier Dome in front of a crowd of 33,736, the second largest on campus crowd in NCAA history.

While the officiating at times was extremely stressful, the loss should fall squarely on the shoulders of Scoop Jardine and Dion Waiters, two Philadelphia born Syracuse guards. Waiters shot 2 of 12 from the field (1 of 7 from 3) and Scoop Jardine was 1 for 8 from the floor (0-3 from beyond the arc). Jardine was only credited with two turnovers however he was the culprit in many more failed offensive drives. Jardine finished with just 2 points and 3 assists. Waiters had six points 5 assists and 2 steals for the Cuse, slightly better than Jardine's numbers but not enough to get it done.

Apparently Villanova had a very clear recollection from the devastating defeat in the Dome last season, because they came out shooting unconsciously from long distance, particularly Maalik Wayns, who scored 17 first half points on his way to a 21 point game. Both Coreys (Fisher and Stokes) finished with 16 points and Nova shot 22 of 24 (91.7%) from the foul line. Villanova came into the Carrier Dome like they had something to prove, something to avenge, and they left with a very important Big East victory.

Down 10 points with 4 minutes to play, Syracuse was able to narrow the deficit to a mere 4 points with 2:37 on the clock, however Villanova's foul shooting was the difference down the stretch.

Down 8 points with 3:07 left on the clock Rick Jackson got absolutely bear hugged by Maurice Sutton, but the officials must have been gazing at the large number of Syracuse fans in attendance because no foul was called. Seconds after Syracuse cut the lead to 4 points however, Kris Joseph was called for a foul for breathing heavily on a Nova player which sent them to the line for a 1-and-1.

Down six and gaining momentum, Syracuse appeared to force Nova into a 5-second violation on the inbound, however after six or seven seconds elapsed Nova's bench was granted a time out as the officials said Jay Wright was calling for it prior to the 5-second violation. Coming out of the time out Dion Waiters barely brushed against a Nova player and the Wildcats were back on the line for 2 more points. But as I said, we are not going to blame the officials for this loss. Just pointing out the obvious.

The loss brings Syracuse to a still extremely impressive 18-2 record overall, 5-2 in the Big East. Villanova grabs a leg up on the Orangemen with the win, improving to 17-2 record and a 5-1 Big East Record. Syracuse will move on and play Seton Hall on Tuesday at 7PM on the home of the Big East Network: SNY.


Not that this is at all related to the outcome of the game, but I'd be upset with myself if I didn't bring this up. It was unfortunate we all had to see the fan with the "Syracuse is Good" sign in the student section. You're paying a tremendous amount of money for a college education, certainly you have the capacity to come up with a more clever sign. It was neither ironic nor amusing.


photo courtesy of syracuse.com

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