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Three Key Takeaways:
- The Blue Raiders Were Panicking Early On: Perhaps Middle Tennessee State was experiencing a bit of a hangover after beating Michigan State. Maybe Friday’s win emptied the energy reserves to some degree. Either way, the Blue Raiders were neither relaxed nor confident early on, as they shot 4-for-18 to start the game. Coach Kermit Davis used two of his four timeouts in the first ten minutes of game action. This Cinderella story looked to be over as abruptly as it started.
- Despite All Of That, Syracuse Left The Door Open: Yes, the Orange had a four-point lead going into halftime, but it felt like the lead should have been larger. Syracuse started the game by out-rebounding the Blue Raiders 14-7 but allowed MTSU to grab 12 of the last 16 rebounds to close the half. SU lacked the tenacity that helped them build a 12-point lead midway through the first half.
- Syracuse’s Closing Burst: SU went on a 25-5 run over the course of 11 second half minutes, a burst that extended their lead to 21 points. Syracuse did a great job confusing Middle Tennessee with its vaunted 2-3 zone, and the Blue Raiders simply weren’t getting the friendly rolls and bounces that had fallen their way Friday afternoon. Reggie Upshaw finished just 1-for-10 against the Orange, two nights after scoring 21 points in the upset of Michigan State. Cinderella had her fun at the ball on Friday, but the clock decisively struck midnight on the Blue Raiders today. Read the rest of this entry »