Hot offense leads SU men’s basketball to win over No. 18 Louisville

Hot offense leads SU men's basketball to win over No. 18 Louisville

Elijah Hughes led the Orange in scoring with 18 points.
Published: February 21, 2019
SU vs Louisville
Louisville's #33 Jordan Nwora is defended closely by Syracuse's Tyus Battle and Paschal Chukwu, causing a turnover.

The Syracuse Orange bounced back after a loss on the road to NC State to defeat No. 18 Louisville 69-49 at the Carrier Dome.

Syracuse’s (18-8, 9-4) offense took control of the court and was back in action Wednesday night. Four players scored in the double digits, including Oshae Brissett, who led the first half scoring charge. Late in the first half the Orange went on a 12-2 run led by a Brissett layup in the paint.

Brissett finished the game two rebounds shy of what could have been his sixth double-double of the season. He put up 12 points in the first half and ended the night with 16 points and eight rebounds.

SU vs Louisville
Oshae Brissett shoots off-balance, guarded by Darius Perry.
SU vs Louisville

Elijah Hughes took over offensively for the Orange in the second half, lighting up behind the arc, hitting four three-pointers. Hughes scored 18 points with six rebounds and two blocks.

Buddy Boeheim came off the bench contributing 14 points, including four three-pointers. Tyus Battle tallied 11 points and seven assists, rounding out the night’s scoring leaders.

Not only was Syracuse in command on the offensive end, the Orange’s defense dominated the game holding the Cardinals (18-9, 9-5) to only 6-of-26 field goals in the first half and a 26 percent field goal percentage on the night.

Syracuse sophomore forward Marek Dolezaj sacrificed his thin frame of 180 pounds hustling across the court for charges, jump balls and steals. He grabbed a season-best nine rebounds, one short of his career high, but that’s not all he contributed to his team. Dolezaj provided the fire igniting the Syracuse’s push down the court.

“He just plays hard and it’s contagious, so that gets us going,” Battle said of Dolezaj’s fearless efforts. “He really started us off tonight on the defensive end, getting key offensive rebounds, defensive rebounds, but that’s what he does every night.”

The Orange hope to carry that momentum to Saturday’s matchup against the No. 1 team in the nation, the Duke Blue Devils.

“It was a really good game. Louisville has been a really good road team,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “They won at North Carolina by 20, at Virginia Tech. They have been very good on the road, so it was a good win.

He continued: “I thought the week off helped us. I thought we were able to do some things practice-wise that helped us. We have a couple of days now to get ready for Saturday.”

ESPN College Game Day will visit Central New York on Saturday for the matchup between Syracuse and Duke. The two teams faced off in an overtime thriller in January when the Orange upset the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium in an overtime victory. The sold-out game is expected to set the largest on-campus attendance record.

Boeheim expects Saturday’s game at the Carrier Dome to “be noisy.”

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Tyus Battle makes a dunk.