Syracuse men’s basketball dominates in exhibition win against Southern New Hampshire

Syracuse men’s basketball dominates in exhibition win

The Orange turned the ball over 17 times with more than half occurring in first half.
Published: November 2, 2022
Senior guard, Symir Torrence, during the men's basketball scrimmage, at the Orange Tip Off fan event. Photo by Ryan Brady. 10/14/22
Syracuse senior guard Symir Torrence goes up for a shot during the men's basketball scrimmage at the Orange Tip-off event on October 14, 2022.

Syracuse men’s basketball recorded their second consecutive exhibition win with a victory over Southern New Hampshire.

The Orange entered the game fresh off of a 86-68 exhibition win against Indiana PA the week before.

As the first half began, it soon became clear that the Syracuse squad hadn’t lost a step. Orange center Jesse Edwards sent the ball back to point guard Judah Mintz on the tip-off. Mintz then swung the ball to guard Joseph Girard III.

The senior sharpshooter quickly got the ball to Edwards in the low post. Edwards backed his man down, put up a layup that fell off the rim, but got his own rebound and put it in the basket for the first two points of the night.

“We did a great job in the first half,” Edwards said. “We came out real strong.”

Mintz soon followed up the opening possession by getting himself on the board with a tough, off-balanced jumper. Four minutes later, the freshman toyed with a defender at the top of the key before sending the ball to Girard III on the wing. Girard III sank a three after creating a bit of separation for himself on the step back jumper.

“Judah’s a really good player, very talented. He’s getting much better,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said.

The only area of concern for the Orange is the turnover department. After turning the ball over 10 times in the first half of last week’s exhibition game, Syracuse gave the ball away 17 times this game with nine of those turnovers coming in the first half.

“You’re gonna turn it over more when you play 11 guys, but that’s not a good number [17 turnovers],” Coach Boeheim said.

Despite the turnovers, the first 20 minutes of play were smooth sailing for Syracuse. Ten minutes into the game, guard Justin Taylor scored his first points of the night with a pretty jumper coming out of a spin move. The defender’s hand in Taylor’s face didn’t faze him at all as he buried the mid-range shot.

Another promising sign for the season is the emergence of Syracuse center Mounir Hima on the defensive side of the ball. At 6’11,” Hima made his presence known by recording two blocks in the first half.

One of these blocks was taken the other way by Syracuse guard Symir Torrence for an easy two points on the fast break. Hima finished the game with six points and five rebounds in addition to those 2 blocks, a good stat-line for the backup center from Niger.

Southern New Hampshire didn’t help themselves out either. It simply was not a good first half for their offense. They shot 28% from the field, and had an even worse percentage from the free throw line at 27%.

Add onto that the nine times they gave the ball away during the first 20 minutes of the game, and you can see why Syracuse was running away with the this one before the half had even concluded.

The half ended with a bang for Syracuse. With 3:26 on the clock, Girard III lobbed the ball from near the logo towards Edwards who slammed the alley-oop home with no defender in the vicinity. The one-sided half came to a close three minutes later, with Syracuse leading Southern New Hampshire by 20 points.

The second half proved to be more challenging for the Orange, at least at first. The Penmen got off to a 10-3 run during the first seven minutes of the half. Torrence’s three pointer put an end to their momentum, but the Orange’s offense continued to look shaky.

“There’s a lot to learn from this game, mostly the second half, but we’ll try to get better and work on it for next week,” Boeheim said.

Southern New Hampshire eventually cut Syracuse’s lead down to 10 points with three minutes left to play in the game, but the deficit proved to be too much for them to overcome. After an emphatic alley-oop from Mintz to forward Chris Bell with 30 seconds left to play, the game soon came to an end with Syracuse winning by a score of 72-58.

A player who every Orange fan would like to see improve from tonight’s game is Mintz. The star freshman didn’t have his best night, scoring just four points off of a 2-10 night from the field, including going 0-3 from beyond the arc.

It was a step down from his performance in the first exhibition game, but the young phenom has shown much promise during practice and the exhibition games, which will certainly carry over into the regular season.

“Judah was settling for jump shots,” Boeheim said. “I think what we’ve got to understand, especially him, is that you can go to the basket. I think he’ll learn that and be better.”

With this win against Southern New Hampshire University, Syracuse’s two game exhibition series has come to an end. Boeheim was happy with the results, but didn’t see everything he wanted to see from his team these past two games.

“We didn’t win because we overpowered them,” Boeheim said. “We won because we were better.”

Nevertheless, the victories secured in both matchups will give the Orange momentum heading into their first matchup of the regular season next week. Syracuse will face Lehigh on November 7 at 8 p.m. inside the JMA Wireless Dome.