MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -Coach Jim Boeheim's signature 2-3 zone defense has gotten a lot of credit for Syracuse's success this season.
Yet Boeheim knew his shooters would determine how far his team got in its South Regional semifinal against Oklahoma. And when guards Jonny Flynn, Andy Rautins and Eric Devendorf were off the mark Friday night, it was all over for the Orange.
``We're not going to stop Oklahoma,'' Boeheim said. ``We haven't stopped that many teams. Our defense has been a little better during this last 10-game stretch. We have to be good on offense, and we weren't good on offense today.''
With Blake Griffin leading the way, the Sooners ran over Syracuse 84-71.
Boeheim had predicted an offensive game. Syracuse ranked ninth in the country and led the Big East with an average of 80 points per game, while Oklahoma was 11th with 79.
The Sooners won this shooting contest, making 54.2 percent overall and almost 43 percent from 3-point range. The Orange hit 45 percent of its shots and only 29.2 percent from behind the arc.
orf combined couldn't outshoot Oklahoma guard Tony Crocker, who finished with a career-high 28 points and went 6-for-11 on 3s.
``I feel largely to blame for this loss because as a shooter it's my job, and I was getting the looks I wanted. I just didn't knock them down,'' Rautins said. ``For a team like that to execute so well on offense, you've got to take advantage of the opportunities you get. They just weren't falling today.''
The Orange trio scored 11 points and was 0-for-10 from behind the arc before halftime. Meanwhile, Crocker, who went scoreless in the Sooners' second-round win over Michigan, had 14 points and had hit three of his five 3-point shots.
Flynn led Syracuse (28-10) with 22 points. He had 13 in the second half, even after being plowed into by Oklahoma big man Blake Griffin with 53 seconds left before halftime.
Flynn, the Big East tournament MVP took a hard fall to the floor, bruising his back. He played all but a minute of the game, but shuffled slowly across the floor at times, grimacing in pain. He finished just 1-for-4 on 3s.
After combining for eight 3s in Syracuse's second-round win over Arizona State, Rautins and Devendorf finished 5-for-17 from behind the arc. They didn't score their first 3-pointer until after Crocker hit his sixth with 15:10 left, giving the Sooners (30-5) a 56-29 lead.
for an average 26.3 points per game this season.
``We were trading baskets at one point, but you can't trade 2s for 3s,'' forward Kris Joseph said.
Oklahoma coach Jeff Capel switched between man-to-man and a variety of zone defenses to keep Syracuse off kilter on offense, and Flynn said it worked.
``It was definitely a great coaching job to give us different looks every trip down,'' Flynn said. ``Sometimes (I) would be pushing the ball and don't know if they're in man or zone, just that little second, a couple seconds to think what defense they're in. They're already set up and keying to try to stop you.''
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