SU men’s basketball overpowers Oakland in 95-66 victory

SU men's basketball overpowers Oakland in 95-66 victory

Five Orange players scored in double digits for the team's second-consecutive win.
Published: December 7, 2022
Joe Girard (#11) shooting a 3-pointer. 12-06-22. Taken by Charlotte Little.
Syracuse's Joe Girard (11) shoots a 3-pointer during a men's NCAA basketball game Tuesday at JMA Wireless Dome.

Syracuse hoops picked up their second-straight win after overpowering Oakland in a 95-66 victory.

For most of the season, Syracuse’s offense has looked dire, inefficient and in need of shooting.  

A mere week ago, head coach Jim Boeheim and Syracuse basketball’s offense hit rock bottom. Against No. 16 Illinois last week, not a single player scored in the double digits and as a team shot under 30% from the field. 

While the team had every reason to stay dejected and defeated for their matchup on Saturday against Notre Dame, the opposite happened, especially for Joseph Girard III and Jesse Edwards.  

Girard and Edwards were responsible for 42 of the Orange’s 62 points, propelling the Syracuse Orange back to .500 in a gutsy victory on the road. 

The two continued to roll on Tuesday night against Oakland, combining for 36 points and both shooting over 50% from the field for the second straight game. Their efforts led the team to a 95-66 victory over the Grizzlies.

Boeheim said the duo are vital to the Orange team.

“They’re our veteran players, we need them to play consistently,” Coach Boeheim said. “Some nights they’re gonna play better than others, but we need them both to be factors.”  

Symir Torrence (#10) defends against Oakland offense. 12-06-22. Taken by Charlotte Little.
Syracuse's Symir Torrence (#10) defends against Oakland's Jalen Moore (34).

While he struggled from the perimeter to make shots, freshman guard Judah Mintz continued to display to NBA teams why he’s worthy of a first round pick in the 2023 draft. His electric speed and playmaking contributed to the team’s success, scoring 10 points and totaling five assists while simultaneously having zero turnovers. 

Freshman forward Chris Bell, who started the game for the Orange and contributed seven points, had an emphatic slam that made the fans in the stands go bonkers during Syracuse’s 18-0 run to conclude the first half.

The team’s 95 points were the most that they scored all year, and the Orange tallied its best team field goal percentage of the year, 58.3%. 

With the game all but decided at halftime, strong opportunities arose for underclassmen Benny Williams, Quadir Copeland, Maliq Brown and Justin Taylor who all desperately needed reps to help improve for the future.  

Taylor emphasized the importance of continuing to improve as a team even with a big lead in the game.

“I think it’s important to just continue to play with each other, work on our plays, work on stuff we need to improve on,” Taylor said. “I think that will help us in the future when we play better teams.”  

Next up on the table, Coach Boeheim and company host rivals Georgetown Hoyas on Saturday at 1 p.m. Also on Saturday, Coach Boeheim and 1980’s star Syracuse guard Dwayne “Pearl” Washington will be inducted into the Syracuse University Athletics Ring of Honor.

Benny Williams (#13) jumps to take a shot. 12-06-22. Taken by Charlotte Little.
Syracuse's Benny Williams (13) jumps to take a shot.