Late surge pushes Syracuse men’s basketball past Northeastern 62-56

SU men's basketball tops Northeastern 62-56

Joe Girard III led Syracuse in scoring, grabbing 21 points in 38 minutes played.
Published: December 16, 2020
Dec 16, 2020; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Joseph Girard III (11) drives to the basket past Northeastern Huskies guard Shaquille Walters (24) during the first half at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Syracuse Orange guard Joseph Girard III (11) drives to the basket past Northeastern Huskies guard Shaquille Walters (24) during the first half at the Carrier Dome.

Syracuse created their own storm inside the Carrier Dome ahead of the incoming winter weather set to hit upstate New York, beating Northeastern 62-56. The rare matinee matchup was announced after their 101-63 win at Boston College last Saturday, their first conference game and win of the season.

Both teams struggled early in the first half, with Syracuse shooting two for seven on field goals and the Huskies barely surpassing that mark, making just three for seven early in the first half.

Buddy Boeheim – who passed his dad and coach Jim Boeheim on Syracuse’s all-time scoring list against BC – put up the first two points of the game on a quick jumper 38 seconds into the game. But the Huskies were quick to answer, sinking two of their own just over a minute later.

Although Northeastern pulled ahead early, making back-to-back three pointers, the game saw a lot of back-and-forth movement for the entire first half. The Huskies brought strong offense but couldn’t finish and Syracuse struggled to sink any three pointers, the Orange’s strongest offensive tactic so far this season.

The Orange went almost five minutes without a single successful three-point shot. Eventually, Joe Girard III made the team’s first three to bring the team within three at 4:14 of the first half.

Tied at 13 around the halfway point of the first 20, both teams had a lot of work to do and took every point they could. The neck-and-neck contest saw four ties each in the first half but with 6:09 left in the first, the Huskies held a 25-19 lead over the Orange. Syracuse didn’t score for two minutes until Quincy Guerrier sunk a jumper, bringing Cuse within four.

A space in scoring resulted from a missed jumper by Boeheim and a turnover by the Huskies but Girard’s steal ended with a layup that lifted Syracuse to a 31-30 lead. Northeastern was unable to capitalize on their field goal attempt, leaving Marek Dolezaj to grab two more for the Orange, taking a slight lead, 32-31, with 32 seconds left in the half.

Northeastern’s Chris Doherty missed both free-throw attempts in the Huskies last chance in the period to tie or regain the lead. With twenty minutes in the books, Syracuse headed into the locker room up by only one point, 32-31.

At the end of the first half, 18 of Syracuse’s 32 points were from the paint, with the Orange making only two of 11 of their three-point attempts.

It seemed as though the two teams swapped places as only eight of Northeastern’s 31 points were from inside the rectangle, the Huskies sinking seven of 18 three-pointers.

Dec 16, 2020; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Quincy Guerrier (1) controls the ball between Northeastern Huskies guard Jahmyl Telfort (11) and forward Jason Strong (00) during the first half at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Syracuse Orange forward Quincy Guerrier (1) controls the ball between Northeastern Huskies guard Jahmyl Telfort (11) and forward Jason Strong (00) during the first half at the Carrier Dome.

The second half failed to see much of a change. Dolezaj brought the ball in for a missed jumper while Northwestern regained the lead with a successful jumper of their own on the other end.

The struggling Syracuse team couldn’t revive their special three-point touch either as Girard missed yet another three-point attempt a minute into the second half.

Over five minutes into the second, Northeastern had a one-point lead over the Orange, 37-36, but only 10 points were made between the two teams since the start of the half. More back-and-forth action occurred, but not in the Orange’s favor as the Huskies picked up another two, Girard missed yet another three and Northeastern grabbed the rebound to make it 41-36.

Northwestern made a three with just over half the second to go, extending their lead to four, 44-40 but Syracuse was ready to fight back. The Orange went on a five-point run, with three of five points scored off of free throws and Guerrier slamming an extra two for the 45-44 lead with 8:40 remaining in the game.

Both teams stepped up their game in the last 10 minutes of the battle. A dunk from Greg Eboigbodin of Northeastern brought them within one but Dolezaj increased Syracuse’s lead by two with a quick jumper of his own.

Northeastern answered with a jumper but Syracuse, unhappy with that, sunk a three pointer at the hands of Guerrier to grab the 51-48 lead.

Foul trouble by the Orange kept both teams in the Northeastern zone, ending in a missed three by Huskies and a rebound grabbed by Dolezaj. Girard widened the gap at the line, sinking both free throws and lifting Syracuse to a 53-48 tally. However, the Huskies were quick to close that gap again, swishing a three pointer with 4:01 to go in the half.

Guerrier advanced Syracuse’s lead to 55-51, going two-for-two at the line for the Orange. Dolezaj and Girard added five more points to Syracuse’s lead while the Huskies trailed by four with 20 seconds remaining in the game.

Kadary Richmond added two free-throws to the final score and the Orange sailed over the Huskies, 62-56.

Girard led both teams in points and steals, topping the leaderboard with 21 points and 6 steals in his 38 minutes played, and Guerrier led in rebounds, finishing with 16 in his 39 minutes played.

The win puts Syracuse at 5-1 overall and 1-0 in the ACC.

The Orange remain at home in the Dome for their next game, battling the Buffalo Bulls on Dec. 19 at 6 p.m.

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is a magazine, news and online graduate student and sports lead producer for The NewsHouse.