Inside the final 11.2 seconds of Syracuse’s 63-60 Sweet 16 win over Gonzaga

first_img Published on March 26, 2016 at 3:28 am Contact Matt: mcschnei@syr.edu | @matt_schneidman CHICAGO – Almost every Syracuse player, coach and manager stood on the court away from their bench waiting for an answer. There were no replays visible to the team to show if Trevor Cooney’s left foot had touched the end line after he intercepted a pass in the corner diagonal to SU’s bench, but that didn’t matter. The referees were only reviewing how much time was on the clock when Cooney’s white shoe tip supposedly touched the black end line, and it felt like an eternity between a steal that could’ve been the difference between Syracuse exhaling and Gonzaga getting one last breath trailing 61-60.“I just think they were looking at the time. I don’t think they were looking at the play,” Cooney said. “I did my rotation and made a nice steal and they made a call.”Cooney had intercepted a pass intended for the corner thrown from under the hoop but his momentum carried him too far forward, according to the referees. One official came over and talked to SU head coach Jim Boeheim, who had no adverse reaction to Syracuse having 11.2 seconds to make the most important defensive stop of its season or let a run some thought should’ve never started come to an end.“From my perspective, I thought he did get a steal and called a timeout,” Michael Gbinije said.“It’s not like they were going to overturn it or anything,” Tyler Lydon said. “We tried calling a timeout on that possession and they didn’t see it unfortunately. We just tried to focus on the defensive end.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textKyle Dranginis inbounded the ball from about as close to the intersection of the end line and sideline as he could get.“A dead corner,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said, “…that’s a really, really tough place to get it in.”A bounce pass to Silas Melson. A left-handed swing pass to Josh Perkins atop the key. One more bounce pass to Kyle Wiltjer on the opposite wing, the same area he’d repeatedly torched Syracuse from during his 23-point night. One dribble to his right and a pass over the head of Cooney and back to Perkins. By that time, over six seconds had elapsed and Perkins had five to make a play that would likely either extend Gonzaga’s season or end it.“With 11 seconds it’s hard to get a good shot against a zone,” Boeheim said. “I thought once they had to throw it out, I thought that gave us enough time.”Perkins beat Malachi Richardson off the dribble before driving right at Lydon, who stood two feet behind the foul line with Domantas Sabonis lurking under the hoop.“I just saw the play at the end develop and I’d rather try and step up and block a shot,” Lydon said. “… Just tried making a play on it.”One dribble with Perkins’ left hand. One right-handed floater, the same kind Gonzaga hit all night. But this one was different. This one Lydon tipped in the air with his left hand. He jumped and momentarily corralled the ball with two hands before being leveled by Wiltjer. As Lydon fell to his back without the ball, he flexed his arms, clenched his fists and let out a scream.“Perkins made a nice move to get into the lane,” Few said, “… a pretty good floater and (Lydon) made a heck of a play.”“Tyler Lydon made an unbelievable play because he normally stays back there but both their big guys were high, so I think he saw that and he read where Perkins was coming,” Boeheim said. “That’s a pretty big play for a freshman to make.”“I was pumped up about it, obviously,” Lydon said, “but I knew I had to knock down some free throws.”Each of the 10 players on the court meandered toward the opposite foul line. Four Gonzaga players stood to Lydon’s sides and the four Syracuse players stood outside the 3-point arc. Lydon sunk his first foul shot and his second hit the front rim, then the backboard and fell through the net with 1.6 seconds remaining to give Syracuse a 63-60 lead.“It’s March Madness and you’ve seen how many buzzer beaters this time of the year,” Lydon said. “So it’s never really over.”Again Dranginis inbounded, but this time with little chance to either extend his season or end it. Sabonis caught the ball at the near 3-point arc, turned and heaved a left-handed prayer that sailed well right of the hoop. Lydon extended both arms in the air and embraced Frank Howard. The magical run for Syracuse that was so often in doubt Friday night kept going, as the 10th-seeded Orange (22-13, 9-9 Atlantic Coast) escaped with a 63-60 win against No. 11 seed Gonzaga (28-8, 15-3 West Coast) to advance to the Elite Eight against No. 1 seed Virginia at 6:09 p.m. on Sunday.About 30 minutes after the game, Zach Lydon, Tyler’s older brother, slumped in his seat midway between the court and the concourse level of the United Center, a look of disbelief and exhaustion on his face. Tim Lydon, Tyler’s father, stood next to him, still in awe while flashing occasional smiles that seemed to bring a dose of reality to what his son had done.“You just see the kid’s freakin’ long arm come up,” Zach said. “I don’t even know what to think. It was just crazy.”“This is a little better than a state championship,” Tim said laughing. “I would say so for sure.”Boeheim was even asked if Lydon’s block was the second-most important in Syracuse history, behind Hakim Warrick’s rejection at the buzzer of the 2003 national title game.“Yeah, it’s a little ways behind the first one,” Boeheim said, unable to hold back a wide smirk. “Hakim would not appreciate me saying anything about that.”Two hours prior, Zach watched as Gonzaga hit shot after shot to open up an early double-digit lead. Some of those were floaters, eerily similar to the one Perkins had for a chance to put a dagger in Syracuse’s improbable NCAA Tournament run.“I immediately thought that was probably going be the one that would end the game,” Zach said.And he was right. That was the one that ended the game. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Opponent preview: What to know about Saturday’s matchup against Binghamton

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ After putting up 21 goals against Colgate last weekend, the No. 5 Syracuse offense will look to hit at least 20 again this Saturday at 2 p.m. versus Binghamton. Chase Scanlan has a chance to add to his NCAA-leading tally of seven goals. On the other end, Binghamton will look to hit five goals for the first ti this season after failing to do so against Marist College last Saturday.Here’s what to know before this weekend’s matchup.Last time they played: One year after nearly upsetting the Orange in 2017, Binghamton entered the Carrier Dome to play a team that — for the first time in 13 years — didn’t feature a No. 22. That February matchup didn’t go as Binghamton had hoped, though, as Syracuse opened the game on a 13-0 run.Brendan Bomberry ended the game with five goals and Stephen Rehfuss added a hat trick as the Orange cruised past the Bearcats, 21-4, chasing starting goalie Robert Martin from the net a less than 21 minutes into the game.All-time series: Syracuse leads, 7-0AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Binghamton report: Since joining the America East Conference in 2015, Binghamton has been a perennial bottom-feeder — save for 2017. This year seems to be no different. Last weekend, Binghamton opened its season at Marist, falling 12-4. Inside Lacrosse predicts a sixth-place finish for Binghamton in a conference without any ranked teams. Binghamton also lost its top-two scorers from last year, Joe Licata and Griffin Konen, making this an ideal game for Syracuse in a week it will be missing star close defender Nick Mellen.How Syracuse beats Binghamton: Much in the same way it beat Colgate last weekend. Syracuse’s individual dodging should be more than enough to get good looks at the net. If the Orange don’t overcomplicate things, which is unlikely under Pat March, they shouldn’t have any trouble dispatching Binghamton. Binghamton’s 81.5 clearing percentage is 38th in the nation, and given the quality and tenacity of SU’s riders, that number’s probably going down after this week.Stat to know: 55 – Binghamton lost 55 goals through graduating seniors from last year, a little more than half its total. How the Bearcats replace that scoring will define this season for them.Player to watch: William Talbott-Shere, Attack, No. 25Binghamton’s best playmaker is its highest returning point-scorer from last year. He led the Bearcats with 17 assists and added nine goals. Talbott-Shere had just one goal late, in the fourth quarter, against Marist, but he tallied a team-high six shots, three of which were on goal. If the Bearcats offense wants to get going, Talbott-Shere will be the key piece. Comments Published on February 12, 2020 at 11:17 pm Contact Arabdho: armajumd@syr.edu | @aromajumder last_img read more