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Ennis forced to sit due to foul trouble in crunch time for first time this season

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ For the first time all season, Tyler Ennis was forced to sit down with Syracuse in a tight game late in the second half.After being called for a charge with 9:10 left in regulation and the Orange trailing Virginia 46-42, Ennis sat for the next 2:20 as the Cavaliers pushed their lead to 52-45.“I know my team needs me late in the game to make plays,” Ennis said, “so I can’t be in that position on the bench.”Ennis ultimately fouled out with No. 4 SU’s (26-3, 13-3 Atlantic Coast) 75-56 loss well cemented, finishing with 13 points on 4-of-11 shooting and four assists. He picked up two charge calls and a hasty third foul in transition that kept him sidelined during part of the No. 12 Cavaliers’ (25-5, 16-1) 33-14 game-closing run.While the freshman point guard has picked up four fouls in five other games this season, that hadn’t forced him off the court in crunch time of a close game until Saturday.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I thought a couple of the plays I could’ve avoided fouls with the charges,” Ennis said. “But I’ve got to play smarter down the stretch.”SU head coach Jim Boeheim declined to comment on the charge calls, the second of which led him to sarcastically wave his hand toward the court. The Orange has been on both the winning and losing side of block or charge calls in recent weeks.A charge on C.J. Fair helped No. 6 Duke beat the Orange on Feb. 22, while a no-call on Baye Moussa Keita allowed SU to hold off Maryland last Saturday.Boeheim did say that he thought the importance of Ennis’ foul trouble paled in comparison to SU’s perimeter defense. The Cavaliers shot 7-of-11 from 3-point range in the second half.“I don’t think that was a factor that much,” Boeheim said of Ennis.When Ennis returned to the court, he was put in a position that the Orange centers have often found themselves in this season.But he didn’t appear to play hesitantly, despite the defense’s struggles.Keita said that’s the approach the whole team has taken this season.Said Keita: “When we play, we just go ahead and play hard. It doesn’t matter how many fouls we have or what’s the score. We’re just going to play every single play like it’s our last.” Comments Published on March 2, 2014 at 12:13 am Contact Stephen: sebail01@syr.edu | @Stephen_Bailey1last_img read more