Cooney, Ennis struggle against defensively savvy Duke guards in loss

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 23, 2014 at 9:01 pm Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2 DURHAM, N.C. — Jim Boeheim never expected to see his guards play as well as they have this season, so it’s tough for him to be disappointed with them when they struggle.But against No. 5 Duke (22-6, 11-4 Atlantic Coast) at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday, Trevor Cooney and Tyler Ennis struggled. Cooney scored just four points and missed all three of his 3-point attempts. Ennis scored some critical points late in the game, but finished just 2-of-13 from the field with nine points.“Duke’s guards are great defensively,” Boeheim said. “They’ve played so far above anything that I would’ve hoped for that I’m just totally impressed with what they’ve done this year.”No. 1 Syracuse (25-2, 12-2) ultimately lost a close one 66-60 that could have had a much different outcome had either of the Orange’s guards showed up. Backup guard Michael Gbinije scored more points than Cooney and just one fewer than Ennis on eight fewer attempts.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textStill, neither starting guard was lacking in confidence. Cooney smiled and clapped his hands all through warm-ups as the Cameron Crazies heckled the SU players. He heaved up his first 3-pointer at the 8:10 mark and chucked up another 3 less than a minute and a half later.With 3:42 left in the half, he scooped up a loose ball and pulled up for his third 3-point attempt of the half.His looks were pretty good, and the shots even looked like they were going in, but Duke ultimately held him totally in check.In the first half, Ennis was a non-factor, too.He missed back-to-back shots to end the first half to cap a 0-for-5 opening frame. He didn’t score a field goal until he hit a fall-away jumper from the right baseline with less than 12 minutes remaining to give Syracuse a lead. His second and final field goal — a layup with 4:11 remaining — cut the lead to four before he zipped a bounce pass through traffic for a Rakeem Christmas dunk that cut the lead to one with 36 seconds remaining.He finished strong, but it wasn’t enough to overcome one of his worst shooting displays of the season.“Shots just weren’t falling,” Ennis said. “I got some open looks, I created some space. They just didn’t bounce in.” Commentslast_img

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