|Posted on November 22, 2017 at 9:05 PM|
Article by Dan Tortora
The Syracuse Orange entered into the Carrier Dome following their best performance of the young 2017-18 season, having defeated the Oakland Golden Grizzlies by 24, 74-50, in a game where they did not rely on the outside shot, but instead took 56 of their 64 attempts from inside the arc, making 50% of their takes inside the three-point line.
After taking the lead less than five minutes into the game (15:47 mark), the Orange never looked back in that contest.
This time around, the Toledo Rockets did not make it as easy.
They fought to get within two possessions of Syracuse throughout the first half, and were as close as down one, 33-32, at halftime, thanks to their stellar three-point shooting down the stretch, with Toledo going 4-for-4 from long range in the final 2:04 before the break.
The Rockets came out of the locker room seemingly without missing a beat, making yet another three-pointer within the first minute of the second half, this time taking the lead from the Orange, 35-33.
Redshirt-freshman forward Matthew Moyer would grab an offensive rebound to follow and put up a tough shot while being fouled, converting the old-fashioned three-point play to restore the lead for the Orange, now 36-35.
Junior point guard Frank Howard would follow immediately after with a jumper to extend the lead for the Orange.
Then, when Toledo threatened once again, Moyer and Howard would combine for back-to-back makes to fend off the potential surge of the Rockets, this time on a putback dunk by Moyer followed by a layup by Howard, assisted by Moyer, that made it 42-35 Orange.
With 15:44 to go in the game, Battle laid on the floor. He was aided up and walked around the court, visibly limping and holding his hips after coming down on his right hip while playing defense.
Battle would try to remain in the game, but after elevating for a jumper attempt, you could see him visibly in pain, so he came off the floor.
Enter the "OB Show" from there, as true freshman forward Oshae Brissett would grab four defensive rebounds and an offensive rebound to go with a three-pointer and an old-fashioned three-point play to help Syracuse out to a 14-point lead, 57-43, with 8:06 to play.
Howard made four of his first six attempts in the second half to offer veteran support in the absence of fellow returning guard Battle.
Before the time ticked completely away, both Syracuse centers, true freshman Bourama Sidibe and junior Paschal Chukwu, would foul out of the game, Sidibe with 3:25 to go and Chukwu with 2:42 to play.
Despite losing both centers, who combined to amount six points and 10 rebounds in the game, the Orange would continue to fend off the Rockets with plays like another well-timed dunk by Moyer, who would also have a third dunk before all was said and done, putting the stamp on a 72-64 win over Toledo to improve to 5-0, handing Toledo their first loss of the season, moving the Rockets to 3-1.
Howard finished the game with a single-game career-high of 25 points. As the only Syracuse player to be on the floor for all 40 minutes of gameplay, Howard added six rebounds (all defensive), four assists, one block, and one steal to his career night. Most importantly, Howard did not commit a single turnover in 40 minutes.