SU basketball handles Pace 79-60 in exhibition opener

SU men's hoops handles Pace in exhibition game

Cole Swider scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Orange on Wednesday night.
Published: October 28, 2021
Syracuse's Cole Swider makes a drive for the paint during a Men's Basketball exhibition game against Pace University on October 27, 2021.
Syracuse's Cole Swider (21) drives to the paint during an exhibition game against Pace University on October 27, 2021.

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.

Syracuse University Head Coach Jim Boeheim gestures towards Symir Torrence during a Men's Basketball exhibition game against Pace University on October 27, 2021.
Orange head coach Jim Boeheim speaks with Symir Torrence (10) on Wednesday night at the Dome.

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.

Syracuse's Buddy Boehim points towards the hoop after making a 3-pointer during a Men's Basketball exhibition game against Pace University on October 27, 2021.

Syracuse's Buddy Boehim points towards the hoop after draining a 3-pointer.

Syracuse's Jimmy Boeheim III looks past Pace University's Brandon Powell during an exhibition Men's Basketball game at the Carrier Dome on October 27, 2021.

Syracuse's Jimmy Boeheim III (0) looks past Pace's Brandon Powell (24).

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.

Syracuse's Benny Williams makes a drive past Pace University's Marc Dadika during a Men's Basketball exhibition game against Pace University on October 27, 2021.
Syracuse's Benny Williams (13) drives past Pace University's Marc Dadika (12) during a the exhibition win.
Avatar for Irie Harris

is a sports reporter for The NewsHouse, and a graduate student in the Broadcast & Digital Journalism program.

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Avatar for Irie Harris

is a graduate student in the multimedia, photography and design program and a
photographer for The NewsHouse.