Syracuse dominates inside for 72-58 win over Colgate
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) It was raining 3s inside the Carrier Dome on Saturday but Syracuse managed to hold off its Upstate New York neighbor, Colgate, for the 52nd consecutive time, tying the all-time record for most consecutive wins against one opponent.
The Raiders (3-6) hung tough against the taller, more athletic Orange (8-1) by hitting 14 3s and drew within six points in the second half, but Syracuse pulled away for a 72-58 win.
Tyus Battle scored 24 points, 15 in the first half, Oshae Brissett added a career-high 20 and Frank Howard chipped in with 18 for Syracuse, which shot 52 percent from the field, including 18-of-29 from inside the 3-point line. It was the third straight game in which Battle has scored 20 or more points, and sixth in Syracuse’s nine games.
Jack Ferguson had six 3s and a career-high 20 points to lead the Raiders. Jordan Swopshire had 13 and Will Rayman 12.
Syracuse dominated inside, outscoring the smaller Raiders 28-10 in the paint.
”Obviously some of our guys who can make those shots (3-pointers) are smaller, which gives us a defensive problem on the other end of the court,” said Colgate coach Matt Langel. ”They got a couple too many easy baskets in the paint and their big three made some timely shots that didn’t allow us to get as close as we would’ve liked.”
A 3-pointer by Ferguson made it 43-37 Syracuse, but a floater by Brissett and layup by Marek Dolezaj gave the Orange some breathing room the rest of the way.
”In the second half we were better offensively, then we got a little stagnant defensively and those guys can shoot, they all can shoot. They’re a team that has four perimeter guys that all can shoot,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said.
”They had a great game plan,” Howard said. ”They overloaded one side, went to the ball screen, made our bigs move a lot, so they had that corner 3 or that wing 3 a lot. Kudos to them. They played great. They kept themselves in the game the whole time.”
Syracuse has struggled defending the 3-pointer, allowing opponents to shoot 34.5 percent. Colgate entered Saturday’s game hitting at a 40 percent clip from beyond the arc.
”It’s harder to win when you have four shooters around the perimeter,” Brissett said. ”You close out one guy and then someone is open in the corner so we just have to move faster on that. It’s something we have to work.”
With finals coming up and a week off until their next game, the Orange have lots to time to work on that aspect of their game.
”We have a lot of work to do,” Boeheim said.
The Raiders held an early 5-3 lead but the Orange reeled off 10 straight points to take a 13-5 lead and never trailed the rest of the way. Syracuse led 38-26 at the intermission.
Battle scored 15 first-half points. Howard and Brissett chipped in with nine and seven points, respectively. Syracuse hit a sizzling 15-of-26 from the field and 5-of-12 from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes.
Colgate: The Raiders, out of their league against Syracuse, should be able to get their act together Tuesday.
Syracuse: The Orange can bask in its excellent start for a full week before meeting old Big East foe Georgetown. The week off should give backup center Bourama Sidibe time to heal a sprained right ankle. Marek Dolezaj held the fort against UConn and Colgate but Sidibe, a freshman, has emerged as a reliable backup to starter Paschal Chukwu.
THESE TURNOVERS AREN’T TASTY:
Frank Howard followed up a nine-turnover outing against UConn on Tuesday with five more against Colgate.
BAD THINGS COME IN 3s:
Freshman Oshae Brissett is 3-of-19-from beyond the arc in his last four games.
Colgate has a home matchup Tuesday against NJIT.
Syracuse has a week off until Saturday when it goes on the road to face former Big East rival Georgetown.