Syracuse hoops gives up too many 3’s before record crowd

Syracuse hoops gives up too many 3's before record crowd

Girard and Mintz's double-digit performances are not enough as 31,000+ fans watch Orange fall 77-55 to rival Duke.
Published: February 18, 2023
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Syracuse's Jesse Edwards (14) struggles to pass the ball to teammate Maliq Brown (1) as Duke's Kyle Filipowski (30) and Ryan Young (15) defend during an ACC basketball game on Saturday, February 18, 2023 at JMA Wireless Dome.

In the most anticipated matchup of the regular season, the Duke Blue Devils visited the JMA Wireless Dome for the first time in the era of Jon Scheyer as head coach. Otto’s Army showed up in a big way, as the crowd attendance of more than 31,000 Saturday night was the most of the season across the NCAA.

The Orange and Blue Devils engaged in a back-and-forth battle to start the game. That was until Duke went on a 14-2 two-scoring run late in the first half. The Orange led by as many as 19 in the first half and had a 40-27 lead at halftime.

The Blue Devils shot lights out from 3-point range in the first, going an outstanding 8-of-14. In contrast, Syracuse made just one of their six 3-point attempts. 

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Duke's Mark Mitchell (25) eyes the basket as Syracuse players attempt to defend.

The Orange fared much better from three in the second half, going 5-of-10. However, Duke continued to shoot well, going 5-of-12 from deep in the second half. In total, Duke made 13 three’s while shooting a spectacular 50%. The Blue Devils won in convincing fashion 77-55.

Leading the offense for the Blue Devils were junior Jeremy Roach, and freshmen Dariq Whitehead and Kyle Filipowski. Roach finished the game with 17 points on 3-of-7 shooting from 3-point range. Whitehead, the New Jersey native, put on a shooting display in central New York, finishing with 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting from downtown. Filipowski, a Westtown, New York native and former Syracuse recruiting prospect, stuffed the stat sheet with a double-double, 14 points and 12 rebounds, and two assists.

Duke’s first-year head coach and former Blue Devil player Jon Scheyer was impressed with how Duke handled SU head coach Jim Boeheim‘s famous zone defense.

“(Syracuse’s) zone is different. They have really good athletes,” Scheyer said. “They anticipate, well, they have active hands. So, once we got accustomed to their zone, we settled in.”

Being a part of the Duke-Syracuse rivalry as a player and now as a coach against Boeheim, Scheyer said it has been an honor for him.

“It is an honor for me to coach against Jim Boeheim,”  Scheyer said. “I’ve been to a lot of dinners with Coach Boeheim, Coach K and myself.” 

“A lot of memories just picking his brain, and he’s been one of the all-time great coaches,” Scheyer said.

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Syracuse's Joseph Girard III (11) attempts to dribble past Duke's Tyrese Proctor (5).
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Syracuse's Judah Mintz (3) holds his face after being hit mid-dribble by Duke's Jeremy Roach (3).

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Syracuse's Maliq Brown (1) stops the ball from going out of bounds before knocking the ball off Duke's Kyle Filipowski (30).

While they didn’t get the victory they sought, Syracuse got solid production from two of their stars, Judah Mintz and Joseph Girard III.  Senior Girard was locked in from the 3-point line, shooting 4-of-7 and getting fouled on two 3-pointer attempts resulting in six made free throws. Freshman Mintz looked in rhythm and comfortable on offense finding his shot and connecting from long range. Mintz finished the game with 18 points, which included going 2-for-2 from the free throw line. 

One star who couldn’t get it going for the Orange was Jesse Edwards. He scored just five points and five rebounds, and attempted just three field goals. Duke’s aggressive defense, anchored by Dereck Lively II with three blocks in the game, was simply too much for Edwards and the rest of the Syracuse forwards.

Boeheim spoke about how he thought Edwards being pretty much shutout offensively helped Duke win the game convincingly. 

“(Dereck Lively II’s) really good defensively. They just doubled and played very physical with Jesse (Edwards) down inside,” Boeheim said. “That’s something he’s had problems with, we need him obviously to be a factor on the offensive end.”

Buffalo Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin attended tonight’s game as a guest of Adam Weitsman, Syracuse fanatic and business owner.

The Orange now fall to 16-11 on the season and are seeing their chances of a March Madness appearance fade away. SU will look to get back on track as they travel Wednesday to play the Clemson Tigers (19-8) at 7 p.m.

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Syracuse's Judah Mintz (3) slaps the ball out of the hands of Duke's Kyle Filipowski (30).