Orange drop second game to ranked team at Maui Invitational

SU drops second game to ranked team at Maui tourney

Sports SUmmary: No. 11 Gonzaga outmuscles SU while cross country finishes top 10 at NCAAs.

Judah Mintz #3 of the Syracuse Orange takes a shot over Braden Huff #34 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the first half during a college basketball game on day two of the Allstate Maui Invitational at the SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sheriff Center on November 21, 2023 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Judah Mintz takes a shot over Gonzaga’s Braden Huff during the first half of their Allstate Maui Invitational game on Tuesday.

Five games into the season, Syracuse men’s basketball is still looking to put a complete 40 minutes together.

The Orange dropped their second consecutive game at the Maui Invitational, falling to the No. 11 Gonzaga Bulldogs 76-57 on Tuesday afternoon.

Syracuse fell behind early, made it a game in the second half, but ultimately fell away against a highly-ranked opponent for the second straight afternoon.

The Bulldogs dominated down low, heavily outrebounding the Orange 48-28 and scoring 25 second-chance points.

Gonzaga made a concerted effort to get the ball inside early. Though Zags big man Graham Ike faced a six-inch height deficit against SU center Naheem McLeod, he consistently got the better of his taller opponent as Gonzaga took a 39-25 lead to the half.

Judah Mintz kept the Orange in the game — scoring 10 of the team’s first 12 points to open the second half. Playing better at both ends, SU got as close as 53-47 with 8:30 left after a beautiful up-and-under from its star point guard.

But consecutive threes from the Zags opened the margin back up to 12 and helped them finish the game on a 23-10 run.

Mintz was the biggest bright spot of the afternoon, totaling 22 points on a 9-for-14 shooting effort.

On the other side of the spectrum, Chris Bell went just 2-for-18 from the field and 1-for-10 from three-point range.

SU shot just 3-for-24 from long range. The Orange were once again stagnant on offense, totaling just five assists.

After being suspended for the first two games of the season, Benny Williams was on the bench with the team but did not play in the game.

The Orange will look to avoid a winless trip to Hawai’i in Wednesday’s 7th-place game against the loser of the UCLA-Chaminade game.

Men’s cross country gets top-10 at NCAAs

SU men’s cross country took home the ninth overall spot in the NCAA Championships held in Charlottesville, Virginia. The finish is the first time an Orange squad has reached the top 10 since 2016.

Perry Mackinnon and Sam Lawler led Syracuse to 299 points as All-America performers. Mackinnon finished 19th with a 29:30.8 time. Lawler was 34th in 29:42.5.

Women’s cross country finished 27th in their third straight NCAA Championship appearance. Redshirt junior Savannah Roark led SU with a 20:35.3 time, good for 87th place.

Men’s soccer players earn honors

Seniors defender Gabriel Mikina and midfielder Nate Edwards made the 2023 Men’s Soccer College Sports Communicators (CSC) Academic All-District Team. The honor recognizes them for their performance both on the field and in the classroom.

Mikina started all 21 matches for Syracuse as part of a back line that tallied seven clean sheets. He contributed five goals and an assist.

Edwards also started all games and racked up a career-high four assists in the 21 matches.

Academic All-District honorees are considered for advancement to the CSC Academic All-America ballot, which will be announced in early December.

Future Orange named to Naismith watch list

Incoming men’s basketball player Donnie Freeman was announced as part of the preseason watch list for the Jersey Mike’s Naismith Boys High School Player of the Year Award.

Freeman is a recruit from the class of 2024 and signed a National Letter of Intent with Syracuse. The 6-foot-9 forward is a four-star recruit and ranks 38th overall in ESPN’s class of 2024 rankings.

Freeman spent the 2022-23 season at St. John’s College High School and averaged 21.0 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. He will play for IMG Academy this season.