Free Throw Line is Syracuse’s Best Friend
Tonight the California Golden Bears #12 seed took on the Syracuse Orange #4 seed in San Jose, CA (East Region). The game started out slow and was mostly controlled by Syracuse. With 15 minutes to go in the first half Syracuse led California 6-2. By the 10 minute mark to go in the first half the score was only 11-9 Syracuse. By five minutes to go in the first half C.J. Fair a forward for Syracuse was pretty hot and had 15 points and helped the Syracuse to 10 point led 25-15.
At halftime Syracuse led California by 8 with the score being 32-24. Looking at the stats at half time they was not much difference besides in 3 point FG% . Syracuse was 57% for 4-7 and California was a cold 12% for 1-8. All other stats was very close, California lead in FG% 41%-40% and assists 6-5. Syracuse lead in rebounds 17-13, steals 5-3 and turnovers 7-9. Leading scorer for Syracuse was C.J. Fair who did not score in the last five minutes but had 15 points and 4 rebounds. California’s leading scorer was Richard Solomon who had 9 points and 4 rebounds. California had a huge boost when Robert Thurman came off the bench and in 8 minutes scored 6 points.
The second half would be a lot like the first half and with 15 minutes to go in the game Syracuse was up by 11 with the score being 29-40. With ten minutes to go Syracuse held a 14 point lead with the score being 31-45. The biggest difference in the second half had been that Syracuse got into the double bonus early in the second half and scored 9 from the free throw in the first 13 minutes of the second half. California made a run going into the last five minutes and had cut the led to 8 with the score being 49-41. The last few minutes Syracuse made a living from the free throw line and California hit a pair of threes to get back into the game. California was down by 7 with one minute to go and committed a charge. Syracuse quickly scored to go back up by 9. Then both teams put on a clinic on turnovers and fouls but Syracuse would hold on for the win.