Syracuse hoops slides past Monmouth for 86-71 victory
SU hoops slides past Monmouth for 86-71 victory
Going into Syracuse basketball’s game with Monmouth, the JMA Wireless Dome was already filled with cheers and excitement for Cuse’s soccer team competing in the national championship game that was being live-streamed on the jumbotron.
But the cheerful environment didn’t help the Orange much, they barely slid by the Hawks with a two-point SU lead going into the half. Syracuse point guard Judah Mintz more than tripled his points in the second half, bringing Cuse to beat Monmouth 86-71.
“We didn’t want to play tonight,” Coach Boeheim said. “Our forwards haven’t wanted to play this year and if they don’t want to play, we’re not going to be very successful.”
Williams, however, turned on his light switch in the second half. He put up a two-point shot and was fouled with 15:27 remaining, which brought him to the foul line where he successfully took advantage of the AND1 opportunity.
Less than 90 seconds later, Williams shot a three and went to the line yet again where he made his foul shot, shooting perfectly at the free throw line in the game.
The Orange heavily relied on their performance at the free-throw line, going 22-28 at the foul line. Monmouth had just eight free throws made out of 10 attempts.
Mintz didn’t play like himself in the first half, putting up a mere seven points. But, senior shooting guard Joseph Girard III embraced his leadership role, knocking down 13 points and going 5-8 from three in the first half.
Girard put up Syracuse’s first points of the game with a swishing three-pointer. He knocked down another three with 13:31 on the clock to clench the lead 13-12.
Girard isn’t typically known for making shots above the arc. In the Georgetown game, Girard recorded just two threes out of eight total attempts.
“Judah [Mintz] and Joe [Girard III] did all they could to try to keep us ahead and try to win the game,” Boeheim said.
SU center Jesse Edwards, standing at 6-foot-11, came into the game ranked fifth in the NCAA in defensive rebounds, and in Monday’s matchup he showed why. Edwards recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 12 total points and 10 rebounds, seven of which were defensive.
“We played better defense [in the second half],” Boeheim said. “Jesse [Edwards] was better inside, covered the shooters better.”
Monmouth guard Jack Collins was a force to be reckoned with. He was responsible for 20 of the Hawks’ points including five three-pointers, four of which were in the first half.
“We’re not winning [by] playing basketball like this,” Boeheim said.