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Syracuse Scores 95, Back Above .500 in Win over Oakland

Posted on December 6, 2022 at 7:55 PM

  Article by Dan Tortora

  The Syracuse Orange, after defeating a then 6-1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish team on the road, returned to the Dome to lace up against Oakland Grizzlies of the Horizon League.

  Syracuse entered with a 100% winning percentage versus Oakland, a 4-0 record dating back to the 2008-09 season.

  Within the first 10 minutes of the first half, there were eight lead changes between the squads. This seesaw happened in less than three minutes (13:06 to the 10:26 mark).

  True freshman guard Justin Taylor would come in the game less than three minutes in and connect from long range almost immediately, with a three from the left corner.

  About seven minutes in, at the 13:06 mark, junior guard Rocket Watts would give Oakland their first lead of the game, 17-16, off of his make from beyond the arc.

  With 6:23 remaining, graduate forward Keaton Hervey would get the Grizzlies within one possession, 27-24, off of his layup.

  However, the Orange would respond with an 18-0 run in the final 5:07 of the first half to turn a one-possession lead into a 21-point advantage, 45-24 at the break.

  Redshirt-junior John Bol Ajak continued to impress, boxing out and grabbing multiple rebounds as a result, including one right before the end of the first half, which he would follow with showing his basketball IQ of knowing where true freshman point guard Judah Mintz was and putting the ball in the right place with time for Mintz to score, which he did on the fast break to beat the first-half buzzer.

  Ajak would end the first half with six rebounds in eight minutes and 29 seconds, five of those coming on the defensive end.

  Mintz, who ended the first half by being the last to score on either side, would be the first to score in the second, making both of his free throws nine seconds into the half, off of a foul by Hervey.

  Less than a minute into the second half, Mintz rose to double-figures in scoring, with 10 points coming from a layup at the 19:04 mark.

  True freshman forward Maliq Brown would score six straight points for the Orange, out-scoring the Grizzlies by himself, 6-0, aiding the Orange in moving ahead by as many points as the Grizzlies had in total (33), up 66-33 with 13:34 to play in the game. Brown would also be responsible with getting Syracuse to a 30-point advantage within this time from his layup with 14:36 to go that made it 64-33 33 Syracuse.

  Fellow true freshman, guard Quadir Copeland, would get his first points of the game in the lane at about the halfway point of the second half.

  A steal by Copeland that Copeland fed in transition to sophomore forward Benny Williams who then fed Brown led to Brown reaching double-digits in scoring (10) on a dunk, with all of his points coming in the second half after not playing prior to halftime.

  With 4:44 remaining, Syracuse Head Coach Jim Boeheim would put in three walk-ons, sophomore guard Anthony Clayton, sophomore guard Niko Ruffin, and junior guard Arthur Cordes, to join Taylor and Brown.

  Girard finished the contest with 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting, including 4-for-7 from three-point range, to go with six assists, one rebound (defensive), one steal, and two turnovers in 23 minutes.

  Edwards tied Girard in scoring, with 18 points also in 23 minutes of play. He was 9-for-9 from the field to go with seven reounds (two offensive and five defensive), two blocks, one steal, and two turnovers.

  Senior point guard Symir Torrence finished with 12 points, including back-to-back threes, going 2-for-3 from long range.

  Brown had 12 and Mintz had 10 to give Syracuse five players in double-figures.

  Sophomore forward Trey Townsend ended atop all Grizzlies with 29 points in 39 minutes, going 13-for-24 with all of his makes coming from inside the arc. He would add 12 rebounds (five offensive and seven defensive) for a double-double on the night.

  Senior guard Jalen Moore was the only other Oakland player in double-digits, with 12.

  With the 95-66 victory, the Orange get back above .500 at 5-4, while the Grizzlies move to 2-9.

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