Saturday, February 27, 2010
Halftime: Syracuse 46, Villanova 36
By Dana O'Neil
SYRACUSE -- A few thoughts as the deafening noise takes a little time off here in Orange County.
-- Scoop Jardine and Kris Joseph ought to split any sixth man of the year award given out this year. The two, who have been sensational the entire season, have injected energy and aggressiveness to the Orange. Jardine has pushed the tempo and has 12 points. Joseph has attacked the rim and has added nine plus seven boards.
-- Red-hot from the arc to start the game, Villanova has become too reliant on its 3-point shot. The Wildcats, who opened 4-of-5, finished 5 of 18. That's way too many 3s. They need to get back to penetrating the zone as Corey Fisher did to start the game and they also need to push the ball again. Villanova doesn't really run much of a half-court offense and struggles when forced into one. The Cats managed just two field goals in the final 11:31, surrendering a 9-point lead.
-- Syracuse can't afford to get complacent here to start the second half. Villanova almost assuredly is going to mount some sort of charge and the Orange -- which has been known to let a lead or two slide -- needs to be ready for it. The Orange also would do well to get its two best players involved. Wes Johnson, maybe still bothered by his hand, hasn't been a dominant presence at all and Andy Rautins, swarmed the entire half, hasn't been able to contribute either. The two have taken four shots apiece and have a quiet eight points.