Rider basketball no match for Syracuse as the Orange dominate 87-52

SU basketball moves to 3-0 after beating Rider 87-52

With help from Griffin, Girard and Newton, the Orange match a program record on route to 3-0 start to the season.
Published: December 5, 2020 | Updated: March 9th, 2021 at 8:34 pm
Dec 5, 2020; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Alan Griffin (left) drives to the basket as Rider Broncs guard Christian Ings (right) defends in the first half at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Syracuse Orange forward Alan Griffin (left) drives to the basket as Rider Broncs guard Christian Ings (right) defends in the first half at the Carrier Dome.

Syracuse men’s basketball team moved to 3-0 on the season following their 87-52 victory over the Rider University Broncs. Despite still missing a key piece of the team in Buddy Boeheim, this showing was a better holistic example of the players’ skills than the Orange’s previous two matchups.

Kadary Richmond opened up scoring for the Orange by sinking a three-pointer on his first try. Rider responded with a layup, but Alan Griffin netted a three of his own. Griffin sunk another off a pass from Joseph Girard III, followed by a jumper from Marek Dolezaj on the next possession to give Syracuse a 11-2 lead before the first stoppage of play.

The Broncs got another field goal, but it was evident early on that Rider was being heavily outmatched in their season opener. Griffin nailed yet another third, giving Syracuse a 15-4 lead before five minutes ticked off the clock.

Quincy Guerrier finished off a setup from Girard with a dunk for his first points of the game, moving Syracuse even further from Rider on the scoreboard. In the first ten minutes of play, the Orange went 10-14 overall and 8-11 on three-pointers. Griffin sunk four of five from the arc, and Girard made three of his five attempts from the three.

On the other side of the ball, the Broncs had difficultly putting up points. It took Rider 11 minutes to sink their first three-pointer and put up just 13 points to Syracuse’s 29 before the next timeout.

With a strong lead already established, head coach Jim Boeheim started subbing out his starters for some of his bench players. Woody Newton, who had 14 minutes playing time against Niagara, came in for Richmond with just under 12 minutes in the half. Then, with 5:10 remaining, Boeheim sent in Jesse Edwards, who has only played a combined two minutes in Syracuse’s previous two games. Robert Braswell also saw playing time before the end of the first half.

Griffin went into halftime with 16 points, two steals, one rebound and one assist in 15 minutes of play. Richmond netted seven points, but also contributed four assists, two steals and one rebound. Guerrier and Dolezaj each pulled in three rebounds.

Coming off a strong first showing against Niagara, Newton continued his success from the previous matchup, going three-for-three on three-pointers, sinking three-of-four field goal attempts and pulling in four rebounds in 12 minutes of play.

Syracuse Orange guard Joseph Girard III (11) with a three pointer in the first half of the Syracuse-Rider game at the Carrier Dome Dec. 5 2020, in Syracuse, New York. Dennis Nett | dnett@syracuse.com
Syracuse Orange guard Joseph Girard III (11) with a three pointer in the first half of the Syracuse-Rider game at the Carrier Dome Dec. 5 2020, in Syracuse, New York.

Syracuse came out just as strong in the second half. Dolezaj went down early on and came up holding his chest; he remained in the game, but not before raising the pulse of fans who already see their team down Buddy Boeheim.

Play turned sloppy for some time, as Rider and Syracuse exchanged missed shots, turnovers and fouls, and went nearly three minutes without a point on either side. That streak would only be broken with one good free throw from Rider’s Dwight Murray. Dolezaj would take the ball down to put up two more for the Orange.

Girard made a huge block on the Broncs after Richmond turned over the ball and Ajiri Ogemuno-Johnson broke away for a dunk. Shortly after, though, Girard passed directly to a Rider player, although the Broncs couldn’t capitalize on the possession.

Syracuse went into the half three three-pointers away from tying the program high in a game, but play cooled off significantly in the second. In roughly the same time it took the Orange to sink eight from the arc, they managed just 14 points.

Another three-pointer from Girard moved Syracuse closer to the record – and further from Rider, who now had 35 points. He netted another with 6:50 remaining, moving his team within one to tie. Finally, it was Guerrier who tied the record for most threes in a game in program history just second later with 15.

Syracuse kept play exciting going into the final minutes. The Orange responded to two Rider free throws with a massive dunk from Frank Anselem, assisted by John Bol Ajak. The Broncs continued to foul late into the game as well, handing extra points to Syracuse on seemingly every play.

The Orange couldn’t muster one more three-pointer and had to settle for tying the program record.

Syracuse finished the game shooting 54.9 percent from the field, 50 percent from the three-point line and 80 percent from the free-throw line. The team finished with 41 rebounds, 7 steals and 6 blocks.

Girard led the team in minutes played with 32, putting up 21 points and five assists in the process; 18 of Girard’s points came from three-pointers. Griffin led the team in points with 23, sinking four three-pointers of his own and pulling in four rebounds.

“As a shooter it’s very nice to see that first one go in, get your confidence going,” said Griffin about his four 3s streak. “Before the game, my teammates, my coaches, everybody, we all got each other going. When you get that confidence before the game, or just seeing that first one go in, it can get you going.”

Newton led the team with eight rebounds, with Guerrier and Richmond not far behind with seven a piece. As for the freshman, Boeheim has been impressed with his play stepping off the bench.

“Woody’s good on his own,” said Boeheim. “I’m really happy with what he’s done so far…I think everybody else has a little bit of work to do. I was encouraged with Frank’s last five minutes. We’ve got a lot of work to do there.”

Still, Boeheim wasn’t happy with where his team is at conditioning and playing-wise, but he attributes that to missing 17 days due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Syracuse will go for their fourth-straight win on Tuesday Dec. 8, tipping off against host Rutgers at 9:30 p.m.

Avatar for Alyssa Hertel

is the Sports Lead Producer for The NewsHouse.