by David Cassilo / @dcassilo
After the winning its first 20 games, the best start in the school’s history, Syracuse fell to Notre Dame on Saturday, 67-58. The loss means that the only unbeaten team left in the country is Murray State.
The Orange were shorthanded for the trip to South Bend. School officials determined sophomore center Fab Melo was ineligible to play due to unspecified reasons. In his absence, Notre Dame’s tallest starter, junior forward Jack Cooley, recorded his fifth double-double of the season, notching 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The game was never really close due to a dismal performance from Syracuse’s starting five. The first unit totaled just 28 points and shot 8-for-28 from the field. With the poor shooting night for the Orange, Notre Dame’s lead grew as large as 17 points in the second half.
No Melo was not an excuse from the players for the loss after the game.
From the Indianapolis Star:
“Fab is the key to our defense. He’s an anchor. It wasn’t that, though. Our offense wasn’t going today,” Syracuse’s Scoop Jardine said following a 67-58 loss to Notre Dame on its loud and wild home floor.
“Fab only averaged six points for us. That’s not too much points,” Jardine said. “You know, we missed him truly but we needed to make more shots regardless.”
While one unbeaten fell, Murray State defeated SIU-Edwardsville to improve to 20-0. The Racers weak conference suggests an undefeated season might be on the horizon, but a yet to be scheduled Bracket Busters game in February should give them their toughest competition of the season.