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Sunday, Dec 02, 2018 at 5:22 am

Syracuse Men’s Basketball Survives Scare from Cornell

By Sean Scott

CitrusTV Men’s Basketball Reporter

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse’s (5-2, 0-0 Atlantic Coast) game versus Cornell (4-4, 0-0 Ivy) was hyped as a family duel between Cornell guard Jimmy Boeheim and Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim and Jimmy’s younger brother Buddy Boeheim. While Jimmy Boeheim outscored the younger brother 9-3 on the stat sheet, it was Buddy Boeheim and Syracuse that came out on top, winning 63-55 in a back-and-forth affair.

“I was so worried about the game and what was going on, I wasn’t really thinking about (family) to be honest with you,” Jim Boeheim said. “Their mother can think about that.”

Cornell gave the Orange all they could handle, even holding a 50-49 lead with just over six minutes to play on the back of 26 points and six three pointers from senior guard Matt Morgan. Morgan moved into second place on Cornell’s all-time scoring list with 1,672 points during the game.

For Syracuse, Tyus Battle led the comeback, outscoring Cornell 7-5 himself in the closing minutes to give him 26 on the night. Oshae Brissett chipped in 19 points and eight rebounds as well, attacking the basket and earning 11 trips to the free throw line.

When Brissett failed to score in the last 10:37 of the game, Battle was tasked with carrying the load. Battle, who opened the season 1-11 shooting slump from the 3-point line, continued to break out of his slump with a 4-6 performance from the perimeter. Battle is now 8-11 from behind the 3-point line over the last three games.

The slim, eight-point home win was not the expected result for Syracuse coming off an impressive 10-point road win at Ohio State on Wednesday.

“I just feel like if we stay focused, stay on the game plan every game, knowing that there’s going to be ups and downs and stay confident in ourselves,” Brissett said. “Then we really could weather the storm when a team gets going like that.”

Outside of Battle and Brissett, there weren’t many positives for the Orange. Point guard Frank Howard struggled in his third game back from injury, shooting 14.3 percent from the floor. On a night where Syracuse failed to muster much production from a player not named Battle or Brissett, Boeheim was disappointed in the team’s performance.

“Tyus and Oshae played well enough for us to win,” Boeheim said. “Other than that, there was nothing really good tonight at all that I could see. I can’t tell you how disappointing it is.”

sescott@syr.edu