Sometimes it ain’t your night. When Judah Mintz, who shoots 19% from three, and Jesse Edwards, who hasn’t made a three all year, both hit end-of-shot-clock dagger threes, that’s usually a sign.
State played poorly at Syracuse, no doubt. I don’t know that Syracuse played much better, but the Orange hit enough big shots to eke out a three-point win at home. It’s hard enough to win on the road already. A 9/33 effort from three just makes it that much harder. That’s a lot of missed shots.
DJ Burns was State’s best player. He had 15 points on 7/10 shooting to go with four assists, but two very poor foul calls sidelined him for most of the second half. It was a big blow to State’s offense, which was inconsistent all night and tended to live by the three when Burns was out of the game.
The Pack trailed for most of the second half, but even without Burns and with Terquavion Smith struggling mightily, State found enough shot making from Joiner and Jack Clark to stay close. Clark had 15 and 8 and Joiner had a triple-double.
T finally arrived late in the second half and piloted a Pack run that earned State a three-point lead, but Mintz’s triple on the other end tied the game. Jesse Edwards would convert a three-point play the next time down to secure the lead for the last time. Burns had a chance to tie with a three-point play of his own, but couldn’t hit the free throw. Dowuona was then called for a magical mystery foul that allowed Syracuse to extend its lead back to three, and Jarkel Joiner couldn’t tie the game on the final possession.
This was an “it is what it is” game. Sometimes the shots don’t go down and you get got, and State got got by a Syracuse team that hit a few unlikely shots. The margins were tiny in this game and some nonsense like Jesse Edwards making a three can be the difference between a win and a loss. So it goes.