Syracuse Takes Down Ohio State 72-62 Despite Foul Trouble
With 5:47 to go in the second half, Jim Boeheim had enough. An off-ball foul committed by Tyus Battle led to a potential five-point play for the No. 16 Ohio State Buckeyes: Keyshawn Woods’ three-pointer counted, and Kaleb Wesson went to the line for two free throws; he would make one of them and cut Syracuse’s lead from 11 to 7. And Boeheim was livid.
That foul was one of 28 that Syracuse committed in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Wednesday night. But the Orange came away from the Schottenstein Center with a 72-62 win thanks to the best team three-point outing of the season: Syracuse shot 11-of-24 from long range and everybody was in on the action.
“We never really hang our head after, you know, going through a kind of shooting slump,” sophomore forward Oshae Brissett said. “We know that games like this are where we need to knock them down, and we were able to do that today.”
The start of the game didn’t look promising. A back-door slam dunk from Kyle Young and a pair of three-pointers from the Buckeyes made it look like it would be a long night for Syracuse. Senior center Paschal Chukwu played the first 28 seconds before sophomore Bourama Sidibe checked in. Not even a minute later, Marek Dolezaj was occupying the middle of the zone. Syracuse couldn’t find an answer.
“Our centers aren’t doing what they have to do,” head coach Jim Boeheim said. “That has got to change, or else we’re going to have a long year.”
For the first ten minutes of the game, Ohio State was able to keep its distance from the Orange. Then, the three-pointers started falling for Dolezaj and junior forward Elijah Hughes. Going into the locker room, Syracuse was down 31 to 29. At that point, Oshae Brissett and Bourama Sidibe had three fouls each.
Brissett scored seven points of a 10-2 Syracuse run to open the second half. Ohio State was able to answer and the two teams went back and forth for the first portion of the second half. Then, the fouls caught up to Syracuse: Sidibe fouled out with 11 minutes to go. Dolezaj fouled out with about eight minutes to go. The Syracuse bench seemed to be shrinking.
“We’ve been through that so may times,” junior guard Tyus Battle said. “This team is special because we’ve seen it all, so you’re not going to surprise us with much. When that happened, we were fine.”
When Syracuse had lost two of its big men, it had a 55-46 lead thanks to a half-court offense run by senior guard Frank Howard. But with four and a half minutes to go, he fouled out as well. Syracuse sent out Jalen Carey, Tyus Battle, Elijah Hughes, Oshae Brissett, and Paschal Chukwu to close out the game.
“We’ve still got guys that can make plays for us,” Brissett said. “And that just goes to show the amount of work that the guys put in.”
Freshmen Robert Braswell and Buddy Boeheim or sophomore Howard Washington never saw the flooragainst Ohio State. Syracuse’s lineup once Howard fouled out stayed the same for the rest of the game.
The Orange returns to the Carrier Dome on Saturday for a special game against Cornell. Jim, Buddy, and the Orange will face off against Jimmy and the Big Red on Jim Boeheim court at 8:00 p.m.