Syracuse men’s basketball rolls into season with 66-34 win

SU men's basketball wins home opener

Eastern Washington's 34 points were the lowest total by a Syracuse opponent since the Carrier Dome opened in 1980.
Published: November 6, 2018 | Updated: November 9th, 2018 at 10:29 pm
Sophomore Oshae Brissett avoids Eastern Washington's defense on his way to the basket.
Sophomore Oshae Brissett avoids Eastern Washington's defense on his way to the basket Tuesday.

Eastern Washington will likely want to forget its first-ever trip to the Carrier Dome.

In the first meeting between the two programs, Syracuse handily defeated the visiting Eagles 66-34 in the season opener. Eastern Washington’s 34 points set a new record for the lowest total by a Syracuse opponent since the Carrier Dome opened in 1980.

Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim credited the full-court press the Orange employed for large portions of the game, which contributed to 19 turnovers by the Eagles.

“l thought that was the difference in the game,” Boeheim said. “We got points off the press.”

Syracuse set the tone early by forcing 10 first-half turnovers and holding Eastern Washington to just 10 points on 4 for 23 shooting from the field in the first half.

The Orange were led by sophomore Oshae Brissett, who was the only Syracuse player to score in double figures with 20 points.

“I was just attacking the basket,” said Brissett, who is a preseason member of the Julius Erving Small Forward Award watch list. “They’re a lot smaller than me, so I knew I could finish inside.”

The Eagles returned four starters from a team that went 20-15 last season in the first year under head coach Shantay Legans. The starter that departed, Bogdan Bliznyukas, was sorely missed, as he averaged 21 points a game for the Eagles last year.

Tyus Battle started at point guard again for Syracuse while starter Frank Howard is still sidelined with a leg injury. Battle struggled with his shot, hitting only 3-10 field goals for 8 points.

SU MBB vs Morehouse State
Sophomore Oshae Brissett goes to score a basket for the Orange during Tuesday night's win against Eastern Washington.

Syracuse did get a boost though as Howard Washington and Jalen Carey, two point guards who did not play in the exhibition games against Saint Rose and Le Moyne due to ankle injuries, were able to suit up.

Carey, a highly-touted freshman, raved about his first experience playing in the Dome.

“I thought I was going to be nervous but once I got out there I just played and just focused and locked in,” Carey said. “I loved it.”

Although Boeheim was happy to have two of his point guards back, he said it’s still difficult to play without their starting point guard.

“We’re just trying to survive until we can get people healthy,” Boeheim said.

The Orange’s next game is set for 7 p.m. Saturday when Morehead State visits the Carrier Dome.

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is a contributor to The NewsHouse.