MBB : Jardine, Syracuse make free throws down stretch; final minutes dotted with questionable calls

first_img Published on March 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm Contact Michael: mjcohe02@syr.edu | @Michael_Cohen13 Comments PITTSBURGH – Eddie Biedenbach knew Scoop Jardine struggled from the free-throw line. Jardine knew it too.So when the UNC Asheville head coach targeted Syracuse’s point guard as the man to foul late in the game, Jardine wasn’t surprised.The 49.1 percent he shoots from the line stands out like a sore thumb to a coach making his game plan.‘I was what, an 82 percent free-throw shooter my freshman year?’ Jardine asks reporters with a laugh.After the game he can laugh. He can laugh because when the pressure was on, Jardine debunked Biedenbach’s strategy. Jardine hit four consecutive free throws in the final 1:20 to help seal a 72-65 Syracuse victory.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn all, the Orange went 8-for-9 from the free-throw line during that stretch, something that certainly bodes well for Syracuse moving forward in the tournament.‘I think it’s mental,’ Jardine said. ‘I really believe in myself.’He believes in himself, and he thanked the referees on Thursday as well.When Jardine went to the free-throw line for a 1-and-1 with 1:20 remaining, he missed his first shot and UNC Asheville snagged the rebound. But a lane violation gave him a second chance.From that point on, he didn’t miss.‘They gave me a second chance to make the shot and I made it,’ Jardine said. ‘I got myself into a rhythm. I made every free throw from there on out because I do what I practice and believed in myself at that time and made the shots for us.’All season long, Jardine has said he will make the free throws when it matters. On Thursday, both he and his teammates proved that to be true. Brandon Triche and Kris Joseph each hit a pair in the final 30 seconds as well.Said Triche: ‘We made the free throws that we needed to make.’Questionable calls leave Bulldogs displeasedChorus upon chorus of boos rained down on the officials inside Consol Energy Arena, as the majority of the 18,927 in attendance agreed with the dismay visible along the UNC Asheville bench.Three separate calls in the second half of Syracuse’s 72-65 win over the Bulldogs drew the ire of the crowd and North Carolina Asheville’s players. The job done by the officiating crew of Ed Corbett, Glenn Tuit and Eric Curry became a popular topic during the postgame press conferences for both teams.After Bulldogs head coach Eddie Biedenbach gave his opening statement, it was the first question his players faced.‘Like I said, it’s tough when things don’t go your way,’ UNC Asheville guard J.P. Primm said. ‘In college basketball, sometimes you have to play everybody in the building, you know.’It seems Primm was implying that the Bulldogs had to battle the officials in addition to the top-seeded Orange.With 16:24 left in the second half, Jeremy Atkinson was fouled by SU’s James Southerland on a layup attempt on the left side of the basket. After Southerland committed the foul, Syracuse forward Rakeem Christmas committed a clear goaltend by blocking the ball after it had already hit the backboard.The crowd erupted. The Bulldogs bench went berserk. The call remained unchanged.Later in the game, Scoop Jardine was awarded an additional free throw after UNC Asheville was called for a lane violation. While the Bulldogs were again displeased with this call, it was the right decision by the officials, according to several replays.‘I’m not going to comment on the officiating of the game,’ UNC Asheville head coach Eddie Biedenbach said.Then with less than one minute remaining, the ball appeared to go off Syracuse guard Brandon Triche’s hands and out of bounds right in front of the Bulldogs bench. At this point in time, the score was 66-63 in favor of the Orange.It was a play that could have been called either way. Triche was bumped by the UNC Asheville defenders, which could have been ruled a foul, and that is what caused the ball to hit off his hands and out of bounds.The officials awarded possession to Syracuse.‘I was bumped, so he didn’t want to call a foul and just gave it back to us (instead),’ Triche said. ‘I don’t know, maybe that was it. I know I touched it, I’m not sure who touched it after that.’Biedenbach was upset with the goaltending no-call and the ball that appeared to be out of bounds of Triche. Though he wouldn’t address them or the officials specifically, he offered an analogy to explain his opinion.‘I think to answer your question best, that big replay machine up on top, you heard the crowd reaction,’ he said. ‘I like the crowd tonight. I thought they were great. If you can evaluate the crowd, can get 18,600 answers for that question? OK.’mjcohe02@syr.edu center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img