SU basketball handles Pace 79-60 in exhibition opener
SU men's hoops handles Pace in exhibition game
Syracuse men’s basketball topped the Pace Setters 79-60 in an exhibition game on Wednesday night.
For the first time since February 2020, fans watched Syracuse basketball at the Dome in person. Fans created anticipation in the air as the Orange took the court, the first game which featured brothers Jimmy and Buddy Boeheim playing together for the Orange.
The first half was a solid return for SU. Junior guard Joe Girard III scored the game’s first points and ignited a 9-4 run in the first five minutes. Girard controlled the Orange offense and accounted for seven points and six assists on the night.
The Setters kept the game close with a 9-9 tie game nearly six minutes into the night. Not long after, senior guard Buddy Boeheim scored the first of his three three-pointers to wake up the Orange. The shot sparked an SU offensive burst and led to a 20-6 run to make the score 29-15.
The famous Syracuse 2-3 zone defense looked as fresh as ever. Players’ hands blocked Pace’s passing lanes and created multiple shot-clock violations and 17 turnovers.
Junior center Jesse Edwards filled in for graduate center Bourama Sidibe, who is expected to miss the next four weeks recovering from a knee injury. Edwards did it all on both sides of the court, accounting for 12 points and leading the Orange defense with four blocks.
Syracuse entered the second half with a comfortable 43-26 lead and continued where they left off in the first. After the first five minutes, senior forward Cole Swider led a run consisting of 15 unanswered points. Swider had the hot hand, scoring a game-high 21 points and shooting 5-7 from beyond the arc in his first game since transferring from Villanova.
Freshman forward Benny Williams chipped in with seven points and nine rebounds. Williams created the highlight of the game, swiftly spinning past his defender, and gliding in the air to find graduate forward Jimmy Boeheim for the layup.
In his first appearance with the Orange since transferring from Cornell, Jimmy scored 12 of his 19 points in the second half alone.
“This was a really good experience for us. Pace is a solid Division II team, a physical team,” coach Jim Boeheim said. “So, overall, this was a really good night for us.”
The Orange will play their last exhibition game against the Le Moyne Dolphins on Nov. 1, before opening the regular season against Lafayette on Nov. 9.