Upstate New York can relax. Syracuse’s streak is over.
And it’s not just the fans. The Orange are pretty damn happy about that 66-58 win at No. 6 Connecticut.
“Sixteen days is a long time without winning and just to have that feeling again is remarkable,” guard Brandon Triche said afterward.
It’s not a stretch. The region was ready to panic with Jim Boeheim’s squad on the verge of the first five-game losing streak of his 34-game career. But despite another sub-par offensive night by Kris Joseph and Scoop Jardine, the Orange (19-4, 6-4) tightened the defense that had been slacking and harassed UConn star Kemba Walker into an awful night (11 missed shots and just 8 points) and hit their free throws down the stretch.
Somehow, that was enough.
“This was a game we had to find a way to win,” Boeheim said. “We made the plays we had to. We played well but we also played well at Marquette. That’s the league. You have to do that every night. This league is very, very difficult.”
Give a heap of credit to freshman forward Baye Moussa Keita, who made a play for a starting spot with four points, 11 rebounds and six steals in 27 minutes of work.
Even better for the Orange? They’re probably headed for a win streak. (And nicer weasther). A trip to South Florida’s up next before hosting Georgetown on Feb. 9 means the Orange should have at least a little momentum when the Hoyas come to town.
Better ensure that defense is ready.
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