With six minutes left in the game, Syracuse trailed at home 49-42 to the Cincinnati Bearcats. They scored on the next three straight possessions, but Cincinnati was able to respond by scoring on three of four of their own. Then the Orange closed the game with a 9-1 run, eventually pushing to seven the number of possession where the Bearcats couldn't stop them.
Credit Syracuse for executing the offense and knocking down the shots. But the Bearcats defense – ranked No. 10 in the nation – had a few uncharacteristic breakdowns which fueled the run. We pick up the action with 3:22 on the clock and Cincinnati up 54-48. In what would be the theme of the 2nd half, Cuse starts with a high ball screen (circle). This time it is CJ Fair screening for Brandon Triche.
Triche fakes right then drives left. Justin Jackson (circle) forgets that he's playing defense and is in nothing approaching a defensive stance. He's straight up, his arms are at his side, and Jerami Grant is lurking right behind him.
Easy bounce pass for a deuce. Cincinnati 54, Syracuse 50.
On the Bearcats possession they miss a shot but grab the offensive rebound. Then they turn it over.
Syracuse comes right back with the high ball screen (circle) for Michael Carter Williams.
This time Carter-Williams (circle) is able to drive the lane off of a simple ball screen, but Cheikh Mbodj is in the middle. Mbodj contests the 12-foot runner, and MCW just makes a great shot. Cincinnati 54, Syracuse 52.
Mbodj makes one of two on the other end to make it Cincy 55, Cuse 52.
Syracuse comes back with – you guessed it – another high ball screen. Michael Carter Williams (circle) has the ball and Sean Kilpatrick (arrow) decides for whatever reason to go under the screen. MCW cans the three. Tie game 55-55.
On the other end the Bearcats repeat their possession from two possession ago – they miss a shot but grab the offensive board and then turn the ball over.
Cuse comes back with yet another high ball screen (this one, toward the elbow extended, is more of an early arriving flare screen (circle), but no need nitpick). At least Cincinnati makes them execute more than one ball screen for a shot.
MCW drives around the screen and draws the defense, leaving an easy pass back to the top (arrow) to freshman Jerami Grant. Cincy closes too hard on a guy who has only attempted 13 3s, and Grant is able to drive for the contested layup. He misses it, but either CJ Fair or the defender tips it in. Syracuse 57, Cincinnati 55. Ballgame.