Men’s Basketball Sneaks Past Buffalo for 10th Win of the Season
By Luke McGrath
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Orange was not on its A game Tuesday night in the Carrier Dome
against Buffalo, but held on to win 81-74 after briefly losing the lead in the second half.
Freshman forward Oshae Brissett said putting together two straight come from behind
victories is only building confidence for the Syracuse squad.
“We just know what it takes now to get passed that we have to stay composed and listen to
the game plan, and once we are able to execute that game plan then everything works out,”
The defining moment in the win came when Frank Howard nailed a contested three
pointer, following two bad turnovers, with three minutes to play, giving SU a 70-68 lead.
Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said the Howard three pointer was the shot of the game.
“I think we would have trouble winning that game if he missed that shot the way it was
going, it was a big shot,” Boeheim said.
On a night where Howard struggled with the ball and surrendered five turnovers, he was able
to put up 18 points along with four assists.
Despite the sloppy turnovers, Brissett said Howard stays level headed and leads the Orange by example.
“He keeps us all calm and he tells us to relax and when the guy bringing up the ball is
relaxed then it calms everyone else down,” Brissett said.
Howard’s backcourt teammate Tyus Battle was face guarded all game, limiting SU’s leading
scorer to just 13 points on 4-8 shooting.
With the back courts offense limited, Brissett stepped up to the challenge, matching his
career high of 25 points. Brissett, who received ACC Rookie of the Week honors following
his performance against Georgetown, also added eight rebounds, three assists and three
steals against the Bulls.
Brissett was not the only freshman who stepped up. Matthew Moyer, who redshirted last
year, nearly tripled his season average, putting up 12 points and adding nine rebounds in 25
minutes of action.
The Orange committed 15 turnovers in the win, but made up for it shooting 50% from the
field compared to Buffalo’s 38%. Boeheim was very impressed by Nate Oats’ squad
after the game.
“I thought overall it was a good win against a team…that is a very good team and I
think they’ve got a chance to go some place and get into the tournament,” Boeheim said. “It was a good win,
we’re happy to get it.”
Following the victory, Syracuse is 4-0 against in state rivals, and has its final in-state
matchup of the season next with a battle against St. Bonaventure on Friday in the Carrier
Dome, with tipoff set for 7:00 p.m.
The 10-1 Orange will be taking on an 8-2 St. Bonaventure team that, like Syracuse, has
defeated Maryland by two points this year. The Bonnies are in action Wednesday night
against Northeastern before they taking on the Orange.