Syracuse basketball goes 1-2 in up-and-down Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament

Syracuse basketball goes 1-2 in Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament

Buddy Boeheim led the Orange with 20 points per game in the Bahamas.
Published: November 27, 2021
Syracuse's Jessie Edwards goes for dunk early in the Orange's Nov. 20, 2021, loss in the Dome.
Jesse Edwards (14), pictured here on Nov. 20, finished second among Syracuse tournament scorers with 44 points.

Syracuse basketball boarded its plane for the Bahamas after losing to the Colgate Raiders 100-85: a team the Orange haven’t lost to in 59 years. SU lost to VCU and No. 19 Auburn at the Battle 4 Atlantis and barely scraped out their third win of the season against Arizona State.

Buddy Boeheim led Syracuse’s scorers over the three games with 60 points, or 20 points per game. Jesse Edwards had a breakout role in the early-season tournament and scored 44 points, 14.6 ppg, in the three games.

“It’s a great tournament early in the year,” head coach Jim Boeheim said before the Battle 4 Atlantis. “(We’re) going to play against five or six, maybe seven teams that’ll be NCAA Tournament at the end of the year so this is a great challenge and will give (us) an idea of what (we) need to do and what (we) need to work on.”

Game 1: VCU 67, Syracuse 55.

The Orange pulled the Rams in the first round of the tournament and chucked up their worst shooting performance yet. SU shot 29 percent from the field and 21.7 percent from three compared to VCU’s 42.1 and 38.9 percent respectively.

Buddy led all Syracuse scorers with 20 points, six rebounds and two assists. Despite leading 27-23 at halftime, Syracuse allowed VCU to outscore them 44-28 in the final 20 minutes.

Game 2: Syracuse 92, Arizona State 84.

The Orange bounced back against the Sun Devils in game two. Syracuse led 48-30 at halftime after closing the first half on an 18-2 run. SU held ASU to one made field goal in the final seven minutes and Buddy led the group with 17 points.

But in the second half, as Syracuse waivered, Edwards stepped up and had a career game. He played 35 minutes, snagged eight rebounds and boosted the Orange with 21 points.

“He’s getting stronger,” Boeheim said about Edwards. “He’s just moving better, he’s learning and he can finish. The one thing he has is he can finish around the basket. He can do that; he’s got good hands he can catch and finish.”

Game 3: No. 19 Auburn 89, Syracuse 68.

Syracuse closed its Battle 4 Atlantis action against the best team the Orange have played all year. The No. 19 Tigers, led by Jabari Smith with 22 points, were too much for SU, especially after playing back-to-back days.

Edwards led all Orange scorers with 17 points. Joe Girard III did not score a point against Auburn and sat on the bench for part of the game.

“(Auburn’s) a really good team,” Boeheim said. “Three days in a row I think was just too much for us, physically. And I give Auburn a tremendous amount of credit. I think the good thing: we came down here to find some things out. I think Jesse (Edwards) showed he can be a factor now for us this year.”

Syracuse (3-3) will play the Indiana Hoosiers at the Dome on Nov. 30 in the BIG 10/ACC Challenge.