Gbinije’s 27 points prove to not be enough in Syracuse’s 80-72 loss to Duke

first_img Published on February 14, 2015 at 8:37 pm Contact Jacob: jmklinge@syr.edu | @Jacob_Klinger_ Facebook Twitter Google+ Scoop Jardine poked his head around the corner of the Syracuse locker room and yelled “beast mode.”The former Syracuse guard was shouting at Michael Gbinije, the supposed third scoring option who had just dropped 27 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out four assists on Saturday, all against Duke, the team he transferred away from after his freshman year in 2012.None of them were enough for Syracuse (16-9, 7-5 Atlantic Coast) to beat the No. 4 Blue Devils (22-3, 9-3) on Saturday in front of 35,446 in the Carrier Dome. While Gbinije shined, Rakeem Christmas, Trevor Cooney and the rest of the Orange outside of Tyler Roberson failed to produce. The 80-72 SU loss that followed spoiled a career-high night for Gbinije, and with it, a chance at a defining win in a lost season.Gbinije rained in contested 3s, locked down both corners of the Syracuse zone and finished circus-like drives. When Duke clamped down by face guarding him with Quinn Cook in the second half, he freed up Roberson.“Look we recruited Mike because we thought he was good,” Blue Devils head coach Mike Krzyzewski said, “so that doesn’t surprise me. I wish he stayed.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn seven first-half seconds, Gbinije tore a Tyus Jones missed layup out of the air, dribbled to the top of the key, pulled up and drained a contested 3 to give SU an 11-point lead. But Christmas was still losing his matchup with Jahlil Okafor. And SU’s best shooter, Cooney, was no such thing on Saturday night.Yet on the back of Gbinije’s 19 points, the Orange went into halftime with a three-point lead. As Duke took control of the game, it was Gbinije keeping SU in it, giving hope to a Carrier Dome crowd whose attendance tied the on-campus basketball record.With 4:35 left in the game and the Orange trailing, 66-60, Gbinije intercepted a Tyus Jones pass with two hands. The Carrier Dome crowd was already dialed up from a series of loose-ball scrambles and Duke fouls. It was all but begging to explode as Gbinije threw the ball down the left sideline to Cooney.He pulled up, and airballed.A minute and a half later, Christmas ducked inside of Okafor and the left block and hooked up a shot, only to have it die on the rim.“Rak and I didn’t play our best today, and if we make a couple more shots then we’re right in the game,” Cooney said, “if not we’re winning the game.”When Okafor dunked in his 22nd and 23rd points of the game with 1:58 remaining, only Gbinije was going to respond. He drove to the hoop for a lefty finish nine seconds later, keeping SU within six points, two possessions.But the Orange couldn’t get any closer than that. Only one man in Syracuse’s home whites was falling on seemingly every rebound and finishing everything he took to the basket.And in the game’s final minute, as each game-extending foul sent Duke to the line for made free throw after made free throw, the Dome’s taunts grew quieter, more desperate. Syracuse’s last, best chance for a seminal moment in a lost season faded with the fans’ cheers.With Gbinije and only so much else, the Orange could only stay with the Blue Devils. Without him, SU was beaten. “I don’t think you can ask any player to do anything more than what Mike’s doing,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “He’s playing great, great basketball, playing as good as anybody, any player. I mean he’s doing everything.”Gbinije missed his first open look of the half with 32 seconds left. A final “Let’s Go Orange” chant went up from the SU cheerleaders three seconds later as Cook went to the free-throw line with a seven-point lead. They were the only ones cheering. Cook made both free throws and the stadium began to empty out.Another career night from Gbinije was finished. It was a game Gbinije said SU had let slip.Said Cooney, when asked what SU would’ve done without Gbinije: “We probably would’ve lost by 15.” Commentslast_img read more

Tipp Minors to travel to Tullamore for QF Clash

first_imgThe footballers will face Galway in O’Connor Park, Tullamore this Monday Bank Holiday – with a throw in time of 4 pm.Its part of a double header with the Kerry and Sligo Minors meeting at the same venue at 2.last_img

Four proposals to change Senior Hurling Championship structure

first_imgTipperary GAA delegates travel to Croke Park tomorrow for Special Congress, where proposed changes to the Senior Hurling Championship structure will be debated.The Ard Comhairle’s motion would see a round robin system in both Munster and Leinster – with the top two teams contesting the Provincial Finals.The winners go into the All Ireland semi final, with the runners up and third place teams qualifying for the Quarter Finals. Photo © Tipp FM Cork are proposing to retain the provincial championships in their current format, but following the Round 1 qualifier, the last 8 teams in the All Ireland series participate in a round robin – similar to the football championship.Dublin’s proposal is similar to the status quo – they wish to amend the current All Ireland qualifier series to allow the four winners from the Round Robin to progress to the All Ireland Quarter Finals where they’ll meet the four provincial finalists.County Board Secretary Tim Floyd explains Tipperary’s proposal…last_img read more