Syracuse can’t overcome St. Bonaventure in overtime loss, 60-57

first_imgEveryone in the Carrier Dome thought Oshae Brissett had just become a superhero. As the freshman forward converted a layup with 12 seconds left in overtime that would give Syracuse the lead, the referee threw his fist down like a hammer. And-1?Charge.“I saw who was guarding me and he hasn’t guarded me all game. So I knew he wouldn’t be able to keep up. And he didn’t,” Brissett said. “Was able to get the basket pretty easily. I usually move around the defense whenever they’re in there, and I did that, but he stuck his hip out, flopped, the ref called it.”Syracuse would get the ball back after fouling St. Bonaventure’s Jaylen Adams, but Howard Washington’s desperate three-pointer was blocked, sealing the Bonnies’ (10-2) 60-57 win over Syracuse (10-2) on Friday night. It was the first time the Bonnies won in the building in 10 tries. They hadn’t beaten SU since 1981.“It doesn’t matter,” head coach Jim Boeheim said. “I don’t even think about those things. We played one game this year, that’s it.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange knew that the St. Bonaventure team was different than in years past. Boeheim said on Tuesday that he thinks the Bonnies will be a tournament team. It was no secret that SBU too had beaten Buffalo and Maryland. And if SU were to have an incomplete game like it did against Buffalo earlier this week, it wasn’t likely to come away with another win.“If we’re not ready to play,” redshirt freshman forward Matthew Moyer said Tuesday, “it will be a loss.”And that’s exactly what happened, ending SU’s four-game winning streak and keeping another solid nonconference win off its resume. The Bonnies will contend for an Atlantic 10 title, but if they aren’t able to secure the automatic bid come March, it’s not absurd to imagine a scenario where they sit close to Syracuse on the bubble. Maybe a notch above with this result. Still, on Dec. 22, there is a lot of basketball left to play.For the early part of the first half, both teams dragged. Neither side could go on a run because the whistle blew for 23 fouls. Tyus Battle had a quick five points then went silent. That’s because Adams caused all the noise.Adams, the Bonnies’ best player, scored 21 of the Bonnies’ 40 first-half points. All but seven of them came in the final six minutes of the half. A pair of back-to-back threes by Adams just under the six-minute mark forced a Syracuse timeout and unleashed several chants from those in the stands wearing SBU’s brown and white. Adams would add two more threes before taking a seven-point lead to the locker room.Although Adams would score just two more points — the game’s last pair of free throws — all the halftime break did for SU was delay the struggle. Before SU could get to the first TV timeout, Battle was called for a charge and Chukwu missed a dunk.“When you’re behind,” head coach Jim Boeheim said, “you gotta fight through that. You gotta make those.”Minutes later, Adams’ counterpart in the backcourt, Matt Mobley, drained a three in Battle’s face to put the Bonnies up 11. SU’s star guard could only turn and flash a face of regret while someone else did what he usually does in the same spot. And then LaDarien Griffin threw down a punctuating dunk to make it worse.Frank Howard found Brissett for a layup to cut the deficit to 11. The Bonnies answered right back with an Idris Taqqee jumper. Anything positive the Orange produced, which was sparse on a day where SU shot 30 percent from the field and 15.8 percent from deep — was either matched or one-upped by St. Bonaventure.“They guarded me and Tyus well,” junior guard Frank Howard said. “Forced him to take some tough shots that he usually makes. It is what it is.”So after the under-12-minute timeout, SU applied full-court pressure. Because at that point something had to give. A Bonnies miss. A Battle jumper. A few blocks for the Orange. Down 11, Battle motioned with his hands that he wanted a screen and open lane. He drove, drew the foul and made two free-throws. St. Bonaventure couldn’t get the ensuing inbounds pass in and called timeout.The pressure kept SBU out of a rhythm it never found in the second half. SU chiseled away with free throws and, eventually, a Howard layup, and when the final mandated breather arrived the deficit had fallen to just three points.It would stay that way until 80 seconds remained, mainly thanks to the fact that after the 11:45 mark in the second half, SBU made just one more field goal the entire game. Now, Brissett found himself behind the backboard with few options. He dumped the ball to Chukwu in the lane, who dropped in his only field goal of the night. And-one?Yes, and Syracuse’s 7-foot-2 center stood at the line with one shot. A make would tie it. Free throw percentage is usually inversely proportional to a player’s height in this sport.Chukwu — a 46 percent free-throw shooter before the shot — made it anyway. And the Carrier Dome went wild.Minutes later, though, after an overtime period where SU scored just four points, it would be only the fans in brown and white celebrating, as the Bonnies finally left the Carrier Dome with a win. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 22, 2017 at 9:47 pm Contact: [email protected] | @jtblosslast_img