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Syracuse Falls to Wildcats in Overtime, 82-77

The Syracuse Orange nearly upset the undefeated Wildcats of Villanova, leading by 12 at halftime. The Wildcats would come back though, taking Syracuse to overtime where they would eventually pull away for the victory.

The first half was all Orange, leading 43-31 entering halftime. The Orange shot the ball well throughout, but too many could and turnovers in the second half ultimately hurt them. Forwards Michael Gbinije, who left last game with an injure, and Rakeem Christmas led the Orange in scoring with 18. Guard Trevor Cooney had 17 points, shooting 3-for-5 form behind the arc and 6-for-7 from the free throw line.

As a team, the Orange shot just under 50% from the field. Forward Tyler Roberson came off the bench in 29 minutes played with 11 points. Roberson filled infer Gbinije in Syracuse's last contest and posted a double-double.

Villanova had three players score 20-plus points in the game, starting with forward JayVaughn Pinkston. Pinkston finished with 25 points and also led the Wildcats in rebounds with 10. Guard Darrun Hilliard scored 23 points in the win, also recording a team high four steals.

Villanova's big bench player was guard Josh Hart, who had 21 points. Hart finished the game connecting on 2-of-3 shots from three-point land. Those three players could not be stopped, as they found multiple ways to score against the zone defense in the second half.

The big separation when looking at stats is the amount of free throw attempts by both teams. Villanova nearly doubled the amount of free throws taken compared to Syracuse, most of which came in the second half. Syracuse is now 0-2 while playing on the road this season, but will host three straight games.

The Orange next host Colgate before also hosting Long Beach State and Cornell. The road issues will be tested early as Syracuse begins ACC play on the road against Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. Those games are the first two of January and follow Syracuse's three game home stand.

Overall Record
Atlantic Coastal
Big East
Jim Boeheim
Head Coach
Jay Wright
M. Gbinije & R. Christmas (18)
Points Leader
J. Pinkston (25)
K. Joseph (10)
Assists Leader
R. Arcidiacono (9)
M. Gbinije (8)
Rebound Leader
J. Pinkston (10)