Syracuse Wakes Up in Second Half to Defeat Colgate
By Matthew Wieselthier
CitrusTV Sports Director
SYRACUSE, NY — After Syracuse’s loss to Oregon, Jim Boeheim made it clear his team wasn’t where it needs to be, saying that “this is a low light” when describing the then 2-2 Orange. He also emphasized was the importance of getting Frank Howard back in order to steady the offense and defense for Syracuse.
Howard returned Wednesday for his first start and game action of his senior year and within two minutes, already had his first three-pointer of the season. Still, going into halftime, the Orange led by just three over the Colgate Raiders and something still seemed off.
Whatever Jim Boeheim said in the locker room must’ve woken up Syracuse, as the Orange (3-2, 0-0 Atlantic Coast) outscored the Raiders (4-2, 0-0 Patriot) 42-24 en route to a 77-56 victory right before Thanksgiving.
Syracuse’s offense woke up in a way that we had yet to see so far in 2018, going on a 28-3 run throughout the middle of the second half for a team that was supposed to be better offensively in 2018.
UNDER-8: Syracuse is in full control, now on a 28-3 run and starting to play like a top-25 team after about 100 minutes of poor basketball between the MSG games and the first half today. Orange lead 69-46.
— Matthew Wieselthier (@mcwiesel) November 22, 2018
Tyus Battle led the Orange with 24 points, 16 of which came in the second half, shooting 8-10 from the field and a perfect 3-3 from behind the arc. Battle has been on and off with his shooting early on in the season, but Boeheim was much happier after this game and looking to build off of this confidence.
“He’s not shooting as well as he did last year,” said Boeheim following the win over Colgate. “I hope no one ever changes his shot again. We’ve got to get him back to how he was shooting last year when he was a pretty good shooting, and now he is struggling, even from the foul lane. This is the way he can play and he can play better than this.”
Battle’s backcourt mate Frank Howard may have hit that early three-pointer, but that was it for offensive production in the senior’s debut. Howard did have five assists and three steals in his first game of the year, but his main help may have come in the turnover department. Against Oregon, Syracuse coughed up the ball 17 times. The Orange only had 9 total turnovers against Colgate, and Howard, who averaged 3.4 turnovers per game last season, didn’t give up the ball once.
Bourama Sidibe was another bright spot on the night for Syracuse, putting up 11 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the year. That is important as Paschal Chukwu was sidelined just a few minutes into the game with a groin injury and did not play in the second half. Boeheim had no update on Chukwu after the game.
Oshae Brissett and Elijah Hughes each added 17 points on the day as the Orange start to finally got their full starting lineup back. The question moving forward is when they will get the lineup back together after the Chukwu injury.
Syracuse will continue to hobble on, taking on an undefeated Ohio State squad, who, after being projected to miss the NCAA Tournament as a whole this season, are currently number 23 in the AP Poll. The ACC-Big 10 Challenge matchup will be next Wednesday in Columbus for the Orange’s first true road game of the season.
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