3 takeaways from Syracuse’s loss to No. 5 North Carolina

first_img Comments Published on February 26, 2019 at 11:11 pm Contact Charlie: csdistur@syr.edu | @charliedisturco CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — A loose ball found its way to Coby White, alone by half court. He scooped the ball and ran into open space, rising up for a dunk. Just seconds before, he nailed a 3 from the right wing to give North Carolina a six-point lead over Syracuse. His breakaway dunk off a turnover was the dagger in the No. 5 Tar Heels’ (23-5, 13-2 Atlantic Coast) 93-85 win over the Orange (18-10, 9-6) on Tuesday night inside the Dean Smith Center. In a game where Syracuse constantly remained in striking distance, even leading by three at halftime, White was the stability UNC needed on offense, adding a career-high 34 points in the win. UNC has now won 11 of its last 12 and continue to be the hottest team in the ACC.Here are three reactions from Syracuse’s loss.The Coby White showThroughout the entire game, there was one player in complete control. It didn’t matter where it came from: the free throw line, beyond the arc, inside the paint. Freshman Coby White was finishing and with ease. After adding 15 points in the first half, White opened the second frame with a pair of 3s. He finished an and-1 inside the paint a minute later. The North Carolina offense revolved around White. He was either running the point or using off-ball cuts to open up 3s on the wing. The result was a 34-point showing from the freshman, who finished shooting 64.3 percent from the field, 54.5 percent from 3 and a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line.Free throw problems AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhile Syracuse jumped out to a hot start, leading the majority of the first half on the back of its shooting — 52.9 percent from the field and 47.1 percent from 3 — North Carolina remained in striking distance. The reason? Free throws. The Tar Heels went 19-of-21 from the charity stripe in the first half. That success continued in the second half, while the Orange were unable to answer. Nearly halfway through the second frame, Elijah Hughes had a chance to tie the game at 65, shooting two at the line. Instead, both his free throws clanked off the rim. With SU down three and under eight minutes left, Oshae Brissett missed the free throw on an and-1. Time and again, in key moments, UNC consistently made its free throws while SU could not. Brissett missed all five of his free throws, and Syracuse as a whole shot 13-for-23. North Carolina finished 34-for-37.Tyus Battle’s takeover not enoughNearly 25 minutes into the game, Tyus Battle had just six points as North Carolina began to pull away. Syracuse desperately needed its star to takeover. It’s become a trend similar to that of last season: SU needs Battle to lead the team. If he struggles, the Orange fall with him. In a six-minute span, Battle scored 17 points. He made a fading 3 in the left corner, converted an and-1 3 at the top of the key and had success at the free throw line. North Carolina kept on scoring, and its offense moved the ball around quickly creating plenty of open shots. Syracuse, meanwhile, relied on Battle, who finished with a team-high 29 points. But one player could not push the Orange over the top, as UNC eventually outlasted SU.center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img