Men’s Basketball Squeaked Past Iona 71-62
By Noah Wolfe
SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse men’s basketball has officially found its go to guy. In Tuesday night’s 71-62 win over Iona, sophomore guard Tyus Battle poured in a career high 28 points, including 23 in the second half to lead all scorers.
The strong effort marked the second time in the young season that Battle has paced the Orange offense. Last week, he led Syracuse with 18 points in the victory over Cornell. While it’s clear that the SU backcourt has a new face, the sophomore guard insisted that he’s used to being counted on to score when it matters most.
“I’ve been in situations like this before,” he said. “In high school, AAU, I played against really good players and I had to score the ball. It hasn’t been a huge adjustment.”
Battle wasn’t the only Orange player who put on an offensive show. Junior guard Frank Howard put up a career high 15 points while playing the entire 40 minutes of the game. Freshman Oshae Brissett also proved his double-double against Cornell was no fluke, adding 12 points of his own on 4-9 shooting.
Facing pressure from the Syracuse offense, Iona hung tough, trailing just 32-28 at the half. Guard Rickey McGill knocked down three three-pointers in the first half before finishing his night with a team leading 21 points, six assists and four steals.
But despite leading his team to a win, head coach Jim Boeheim was less than thrilled with his team’s performace in the contest.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” he said, grimacing.
Specifically, Boeheim referenced his team’s shortcomings in getting back in transition defense and missing layups in the early stages of the game.
The team has a few days to address these issues before it returns to the Carrier Dome to take on Texas Southern this Saturday in the Hoophall Miami Invitational. The Tigers are in the midst of a brutally tough road stretch. The team comes into Saturday’s game after back to back losses to Gonzaga and Washington State. Tipoff on Saturday is slated for 7:00 p.m.