Buddy Boeheim, Syracuse hoops snap three-game skid against Pittsburgh
Buddy Boeheim steps up to snap SU's three-game skid
Buddy Boeheim reached for a pass in the corner of the floor and quickly fired up his fifth three-pointer of the night. The shot clanked the front of the rim, soared directly above the basket, and swooshed into the net below.
He smiled at the Syracuse men’s basketball bench before running down the floor in the second half of their 77-61 win over the Pittsburgh Panthers. After losing three straight ACC games, Tuesday night was different for the Orange.
“Every game is going to be tough, simple as that,” Jim Boeheim said. “(Our) second half was the best that we’ve really played all year by quite a lot.”
Buddy scored his first 12 points from beyond the arc without a miss and shot 5-8 overall from deep. He finished with 24 points, four rebounds, three steals and three assists.
“I think Buddy’s always capable of going off any night,” Edwards said. “We got a couple great shooters that can pick up if he’s maybe having an off night, but he’s not going to have many of those.”
Pittsburgh opened a 13-0 run in the first half, where Mouhamadou Gueye did it all for the Panthers. Gueye finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and two steals. His 6’9″ frame allowed him to peek over and slither around Orange double-teams.
“If Buddy just didn’t make some really long threes, we would’ve been down 10 or 12 points at halftime,” Jim said.
But the Panthers shot just 23% in the second half and made only five shots other than free throws. Syracuse outscored Pittsburgh 42-27 in the final 20 minutes.
“In the second half we had a huge turnaround,” Jim said. “Our defense was, I thought, the best it’s been all year, movement-wise.”
Edwards scored seven in the second half, and Cole Swider added eight points to finish with 10. Swider is the only Syracuse player who has scored 10 or more points in each of the last three games.
“I’ve been shooting the ball really well the past four games,” Swider said. “I think tonight I was just trying to play defense and take advantage of the openings that I got.”
Syracuse will play two more conference games in the next seven days, against Florida State on Jan. 15 and against Clemson on Jan. 18.