I thought this game turned when Triche missed a relatively easy layup with SU down 1 and a chance to finally take the lead (I believe it was 44-43 or thereabouts). Psychologically it was a huge swing. And when you are basically playing 6 guys against wave after wave of Panthers, you can really use that sort of psychological boost. It looked to me like the forwards were just gassed midway through the 2nd half, and it made the defensive rotations just a bit too slow.
Also, shot selection. I don’t think Pitt took a “bad” shot, meaning an ill-advised attempt, the entire game. They ran their offense, and only forced it when the shot clock was low. SU didn’t take too many bad ones, but there were a number of head-scratchers put up — seemingly every Orange player had at least one. Those essentially wasted possessions made a big difference, maybe the difference. It was obvious that SU had to work a lot harder for their points than Pitt did, in general. But that doesn’t give you license to toss up contested fadeaways with 20 seconds left on the shot clock.
Maybe I’ll say more later on. Maybe. I will be curious to see how Boeheim reacts to this one in the postgame press conference. Personally I’m proud of how they bounced back but pissed off at most of the rest of it. Overall I’m not sure yet what to take away from this one. There is no shame in losing this game, that much I know. But I can’t shake this nagging feeling that they should have had a better showing anyway. I think I need to let this result marinate for a while and see how it tastes tomorrow morning.
PS. Does anyone know why Ben Roethlisberger was sitting in a suite with orange-clad Cuse people?
PPS. Nasir Robinson is the new Levance Fields.