Syracuse soars to big win over Eagles behind Battle’s 24 points

Syracuse soars to big win over Eagles behind Battle's 24 points

Five Orange players scored double digits and forced 17 turnovers in the 81-63 win.
Published: January 24, 2018 | Updated: April 24th, 2018 at 9:28 pm

Eight days between games is the longest stretch that Syracuse has had this season. The Orange last played on Jan. 16, when they beat Pittsburgh 59-45 for their second ACC win of the season. This allowed the young team time to practice without interruption.

What they did in the last eight days paid off, as Syracuse ran away from Boston College, winning 81-63 against their ACC foes.

From watching the first two minutes, though, it did not appear that this would be the case. The visitors grabbed an opening layup, then hit four consecutive three-point shots to lead 14-7. While Syracuse grabbed points from junior guard Frank Howardfreshman forward Oshae Brissett and center Paschal Chukwu, this early deficit affected the Orange’s momentum.

Following a Boston College miss, freshman forward Matthew Moyer landed awkwardly on his left ankle. He struggled to get up, and limped off the court. The introduction of sixth-man Marek Dolezaj proved to be have an impact in the game.

“Marek made a couple nice drives,” Boeheim said.

Dolezaj made an instant impact. He grabbed his first rebound almost instantly, and was a thorn in the side of the Boston College offense. With Dolezaj remaining in and Moyer heading to the locker room, the Orange needed to have success with their new offense to have a chance-which is exactly what happened.

Brissett had a hot hand midway through the first half. His contributions both offensively and defensiveley helped the Orange put together an 11-0 run.

The second of his three-point shots triggered a reaction out of the forward, which he directed to the visiting bench.

“Someone said you should have shot the first one. So I just turned around and said I could make any one,” Brissett said.

Howard was even more effective than in previous games, a trend in Syracuse wins. He had 16 first-half points, which he made in a variety of ways. He scored seven consecutive points that led to the Orange leading 41-27, their largest first-half lead. This came from the movement of the team.

“Us being aggressive, assertive, keeping the defense on the move. It’s what we’ve really been working on these last eight days,” Howard said.

However, similar to the first few minutes, Boston College had a 9-4 run to finish the first half. This brought the lead to 10. While the Syracuse faithful cheered off the team, nightmares remained from the Jan. 6 loss to Notre Dame, where they gave up a nine-point lead to the Irish.

But tonight, the shots were falling for Syracuse. After shooting 62.4 perecent in the first half, the Orange shooting kept going strong.

“I thought the difference in this game was the offense. We moved the ball, we obviously made shots in the first half,” Coach Boeheim said.

The Orange shooting was led by Tyus Battle who scored 15 of his 24 points in the second half. This began with a three-point shot, his first of two of the half. His most remarkable opportunity came towards the end of the game, when he hit a contested layup to put Syracuse up 78-60.

Five Orange players scored double digits. This gave a preview to potential starting lineups for the upcoming schedule. Boeheim said that performances like this need to occur while Moyer is out.

“I hope so. He (Dolezaj) is the only guy we’ve got. He’s got to be ready,” Boeheim said.

Syracuse has less of a break until their next game, when they travel to Pittsburgh on Jan. 27. The Orange beat the Panthers at the start of the break, but work will need to be done with much less time after losing a body on a depleted roster.

The game begins at 4 p.m.

Avatar for Will Muoio

is a newspaper and online journalism and political science senior, plus Sports Lead Producer for The NewsHouse.