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As he always does, StLouHoo boldly set out three keys to getting the win against Syracuse:

1) Attack the middle of the zone.

2) Keep them off the FT Line.

3) Slow down their shooters.

The Cavaliers lost at home to Syracuse 63-55, despite holding the Orange to 43 points in regulation. How did StLou do in identifying the keys to getting the win, and how did the Hoos do?

1) Attack the middle of the zone.

The middle of the Syracuse zone was a fierce battleground between Mamadi Diakite, Jay Huff and Braxton Key on the one side and Bourama Sidibe, Marek Dolezaj, Elijah Hughes and Quincy Guerrier on the other. The referees doled out fouls liberally (until Jim Boeheim pulled one aside and had a chat). Any offensive success UVA had came in the middle (or on the fast break, where UVA scored 15 points), as the Hoos have fully reverted to their early season form. Diakite and Huff combined for 22 two-point field goal attempts while the Hoos had 16 offensive rebounds, roughly one-third of the team's myriad misses. The inside game accounted for 26 of the team's 55 points. This was not where the game was lost.

Grade: B+

2) Keep them off the FT Line.

Dolezaj shot 7 free throws and the team as a whole 15. They made 11, which gave them around 15% of their points, below their season average of 19.0%. Their free throw rate for the game was a shade under .25, which is considerably below their season average of .354. Elijah Hughes with a season FTr of .32 did not have an attempt. This was not where the game was lost.

Grade: B

3) Slow down their shooters.

The Orange hit 30% of their three point attempts in the first half and 27% in the second. Unfortunately, they hit 5-6 in overtime. Maybe the key should have been STOP their shooters, because the Hoos certainly slowed them down. They didn't get rolling until overtime. When you give up 43 points in regulation and fail to win, you did not lose on the defensive end.

Grade: B-

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Syracuse (Basketball(M), January 11, 2020)