Winter sports roundup: what you may have missed over break

Syracuse sports roundup: what you may have missed over break

The Syracuse men's basketball team sits at 10-6, while the women are 11-4 and are currently fourth in the ACC.
Published: February 8, 2021
Jan 31, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Joseph Girard III (11) handles the ball in the first half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Syracuse Orange guard Joseph Girard III (11) handles the ball in the first half against the North Carolina State Wolfpack at the Carrier Dome.

While you were spending time at home or wherever you may have been during the holiday season, some of the Syracuse athletes have been grinding hard. Over the holiday break, your Syracuse basketball and hockey teams have played out their respective seasons, and I would like to shed light on the team’s performances.

The Syracuse Men’s basketball team has experienced an up-and-down season thus far, as the team boasts a 10-6 record overall, but sits at just .500 record in conference play. Games against Wake Forest, Florida State and Clemson were postponed due to COVID protocols in those respective teams. The Orange’s struggles in the ACC come from tight losses to Pittsburgh (63-60) and UNC (81-75), and absolutely embarrassing performances against Pittsburgh (96-76) and No. 8 Virginia (81-58)

The story of the season thus far has been the team’s struggles from deep, especially in the backcourt. Usual sharpshooters Buddy Boeheim and Joe Girard III have struggled to find their groove from beyond the arc, shooting a combined 35% from 3. Girard and Boeheim were the anchors to the offense last year, and both have regressed thus far this season. If the team is to make a run at the NCAA tournament, they will need their backcourt marksman to find their shot. Plain and simple.

The ‘Cuse Women’s team has yet to lose at home, and boasts an impressive 11-4 record, which puts them fourth in the ACC rankings. A couple non-league games against Binghamton and Morgan State were cancelled, but the Orange will also not face Virginia – who cancelled the remainder of their season shortly before playing Syracuse –  and Duke. Syracuse has won four of it’s last five games, several of which have been won in come-from-behind performances.

Led by dynamic guard play and relentless perimeter defense, the Orange rank top 3 in the ACC in both 3-pointers made and points allowed, giving the team a high floor-ceiling combo. Recently, Kiara Lewis and Digna Strautmane both hit 1,000 career points, while Tiana Mangakahia set a program record with 700 assists. Moving forward, the team has made it a priority to run more in transition and create high percentage plays while the half-court offense is not quite where it needs to be. Upcoming games on the team’s schedule include road contests against Pittsburgh and Florida St. before returning home to host No. 1 Louisville.

The Syracuse Hockey team has had a tough time finding a rhythm this season because of the 6 postponed games the team was scheduled to play. The team currently has a 3-8-1 record and after losing both games in a doubleheader against Mercyhurst and will travel to Missouri this weekend to take on Lindenwood in a three-game series. The league has not yet announced where, when and if the postponed games will be rescheduled.

As for lacrosse, the NCAA released the season schedule giving us insight into when the season will tip off. When the season stopped suddenly last year, men’s lacrosse was the No. 1 ranked team in the country, and begins this season with a lot of the same this year. The Orange rank top 5 in the Inside Lacrosse preseason rankings, however, rank 1st in the ACC Coaches poll.

Recently, the school showed interest in allowing students to attend home lacrosse games, and think this can be done safely, given the COVID circumstances. More information has yet to be released.

It has been a long break, but now that you are back on campus, spring sports are right around the corner as well as the home stretch for the Orange basketball teams.