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Nail-Biter to the Wire as Orange Edge Out the Terrapins

Posted on November 27, 2017 at 9:20 PM

  Article by Dan Tortora

  This home match-up for the Syracuse Orange would be one to see where they stand with other teams inside the "Power 5" as they hosted the Maryland Terrapins of the Big Ten Conference in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in the Carrier Dome.

  Maryland came in with better three-point shooters percentage-wise in redshirt-junior guard Dion Wiley at 44.8% and senior guard/forward Jared Nickens at 55.6% as well as the first real test inside for Syracuse big men, centers Paschal Chukwu (junior) and Bourama Sidibe (true freshman), in Maryland true freshman forward Bruno Fernando.

  The Terrapins had gone 6-1 to begin the 2017-18 season, while the Orange had rolled their way to 5-0. Maryland's only loss came to the St. Bonaventure Bonnies, 63-61, where they shot a mere 5-for-23 from beyond the arc (21.7%). They had since bounced back to defeat the New Mexico Lobos by 15. Syracuse was coming off a victory over the Toledo Rockets where they held Toledo 22 points below their point average this season, taking them from their 86-point average and holding them to 64.

  Neither would make the first half easy in this one, with 10 lead changes and eight ties.

  Syracuse would begin the game strong around the rim, making eight of their first 10 tries in the lane, all layups.

  Orange junior point guard Frank Howard, criticized for his turnover woes at times, began the contest by stealing the ball away from the Terrapins instead, getting fouled, and making both of his free throws.

  At the break, the Orange would overtake the advantage by one point, 36-35, thanks to sophomore shooting guard Tyus Battle dishing from the outside into true freshman forward Marek Dolezaj with two seconds left on the shot clock. Dolezaj would turn around and lay the ball up off the backboard beofre the teams took off for the locker rooms.

  Howard began the second half the same way he did the first, by scoring the first points for Syracuse, this time on a layup just 24 seconds into the second half.

  But after committing just one turnover in all 20 minutes played of the first half, Howard lost possession for the Orange twice in the first four minutes and change of the second half. Those two turnovers led to five points for the Terrapins, with a three by sophomore guard Anthony Cowan, Jr., and two made free throws by Fernando.

  Offensively, Syracuse began the second half making 10 of their 14 field-goal tries (71.4%),

  Behind by two, 52-50, with approximately 11 minutes to play, true freshman forward Oshae Brissett grabbed the offensive rebound off of a missed three by Howard and ended up getting the three points himself on an old-fashioned three-point play, elevating the Orange ahead 53-52.

  However, Sidibe was called for his fourth foul of the game with 7:33 to go and true freshman guard Darryl Morsell made both of his free throws to bring the Terrapins ahead, 57-56.

  Fernando would then block Brissett at the other end and Morsell would get two more at the rim to place Maryland ahead, 59-56.

  With 6:32 to play in the game, Sidibe would foul out, ending with eight points, four rebounds, and two blocks in 22 minutes. Chukwu would come in and be called almost immediately for his second foul of the game and Cowan would go 1-for-2 at the line to gain the lead at 61-60 after Howard had just fed Chukwu at the other end for the dunk that tied the contest at 60 apiece.

  Call him "Three-Point-Play Oshae" as Oshae Brissett took charge from there to attack the rim for his second old-fashioned three-point-play of the second half, this time putting the Orange ahead 63-61.

  Brissett would close out the game with his second double-double in a row and third in the team's first six games of the season.

  But the game was far from over as Maryland sophomore guard Kevin Huerter nailed his sixth three-pointer in eight tries to give the Terrapins a 66-65 lead with 1:42 to go. As a team, Maryland was 10-for-22 from beyond the arc at the time.

  Battle reacted with a "Hey man, I can do that, too" move, cashing in from long range himself to give Syracuse the lead once again at 68-66 with 51.4 seconds to play.

  On the other end, Battle would steal the ball away and make both free throws to follow, advancing the Orange ahead by two possessions, 70-66, with 26 seconds to go.

  Chukwu would steal the ball away from the Terrapins on the very next possession, but missed both of his free throws.

  Huerter would make his seventh three in nine attempts immediately after, getting within one of Syracuse, 70-69, with seven seconds to play.

  Howard would send it downcourt to Battle to follow, breaking the pressure for a slam dunk to go up 72-69.

  Then, Battle fouled Cowan who made one of his two free throws.

  Brissett would grab the defensive rebound with 00.7 seconds to go and was fouled. He missed both of his free throws and then Huerter sent up a prayer that was way too close for comfort for Syracuse fans.

  The Orange edged out the Terrapins, 72-70, to move to 6-0 on the season as the Terrapins fall to 6-2, losing to two New York-based teams, first St. Bonaventure and now Syracuse.

  Four Syracuse players ended in double-figures with Battle leading the way with 18 points (7-for-14 shooting), followed by Brissett (5-for-18 shooting) and Howard (6-for-17 shooting) each with 15, and Dolezaj with 10 (4-for-5 shooting).

  Maryland concluded the game with three in double-digits, led by Huerter's 23 (8-for-11 shooting), followed by Fernando with 13 (4-for-5 shooting) and Cowan's 11 (3-for-9 shooting).

  For the game, there were 20 lead changes and 15 ties, 10 lead changes in both the first and second halves and eight ties in the first half to seven in the second half on a nail-biter to the wire.

Categories: Syracuse Orange Men's Basketball, Atlantic Coast Conference, NCAA

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