A late run fell just short in the Pirates hope of upsetting the No. 4 Syracuse Orange. The loss drops the Hall to 1-3 in the Big East and 7-9 overall.
“I’m really proud of the way we played,” head coach Kevin Willard said. “We just struggled shooting the basketball without [senior Jeremy Hazell], a little bit of that showed tonight.”
The Pirates were unable to completely catch up to the Orange, cutting the lead to one point with 2:20 remaining, the closest they would get in the second half.
Junior Herb Pope and senior Jeff Robinson led the Pirates, especially on the boards with the duo out-rebounding the entire Syracuse team with 20 and 17 rebounds respectively. Both players also scored in double figures with Robinson leading all players with 17 points and Pope adding 15.
“Jeff is getting back to normal and Herb [Pope] is where I thought he would be at this point,” Willard said. “
As a team the Hall struggled shooting the ball making 31 percent of their shots on the game including 3-26 shooting beyond the arc.
Robinson hurt us in the middle of the zone,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “We did not do a good job controlling him and Pope towards the end of the game.”
The Orange was led by junior Kris Joseph and sophomore Brandon Triche had 15 points each for the Orange. Triche scored all 15 of his points in the second half while making his first four attempts from three.
Syracuse started by taking a quick 5-0 lead behind their first two shots of the game, but the Orange struggled shooting the rest of the half.
The Pirates pulled the score back early after freshman Fuquan Edwin lay-up cut the score to 7-6.
Syracuse would hold the lead for the entire first half taking their biggest lead of the half at the six at 18-12 with junior Kris Joseph making the first of two free throws.
The Hall would close the gap to end the first half outscoring the Orange 7-2 in the last five minutes.
Senior Jeff Robinson started to close the score to four with a lay-up with 4:25 remaining. The Hall added a free throw from Lawrence and a pair from Edwin had the Oranges lead down 19-17.
Joseph made a free throw giving Syracuse 20 points before a jumper from senior Jamel Jackson put the Pirates down one to end the half at 20-19.
The Hall held the Orange without a field goal for the final 6:27 of the first half with Syracuse shooting 30 percent in the half. The Pirates defense kept them in the game forcing nine Orange turnovers and scoring seven points off of the turnover.
The Hall struggled shooting from beyond the arc going 0-17 in the first half. All the field goals for the Pirates came inside the paint, with 16 points.
Coming out of half-time the Pirates quickly took a 10 point lead at 38-28, six and a half minutes into the half behind 11 points from Triche.
After a three point basket from senior Jamel Jackson the Oranges lead was at six with 10 minutes to go.
Once again Syracuse was able to take a double digit lead, at 53-40, with six minutes remaining before the Pirates closed the game once again.
A 11-0 run by the Hall, capped off by a pair of free throws from junior Jordan Theodore had the Pirates down one with 2:20 left in the first half.
Syracuse once again kept the Pirates from taking the lead by talking the small lead and despite poor free throw shooting from the Orange, 17-36, Syracuse held on for the five point victory.
“One of our biggest problems is we can’t get consecutive stops in a half,” Willard said. “That’s been our problem all year.”
The Hall return to the court Wednesday at DePaul at 7:00 p.m., with senior Jeremy Hazell possibly making his return after being out since the third game of the year.