Syracuse Holds on to Beat Maryland
Syracuse outlasted Maryland 72-70 in a dog fight Monday night in the Carrier Dome as the two teams kicked off the 19th annual Big Ten-ACC Challenge. The back-and-forth affair featured 12 ties and 18 lead changes; Tyus Battle put the Orange up for good after he hit a clutch 3-pointer in the corner with 59 seconds remaining.
Defensively, the Orange were tough all night. Syracuse forced the Terrapins to turn the ball over 18 times, 12 of which were steals. Frank Howard led the defense with 7 steals, as he was stellar at the top of the 2-3 zone. Syracuse held everyone aside from Kevin Huerter to 37.5% from the floor. The Orange defense also blocked 5 shots. Huerter was unstoppable for the Terrapins, draining 8-of-11 field goals and was 7-of-9 from behind the arc, good for a game high 23 points.
Offensively, the Orange were led by Tyus Battle who was questionable entering the game after injuring his back in last Wednesday’s game against Toledo. Battle scored 13 of his team high 18 points in the second stanza.
Freshman Oshae Brissett recorded another double-double with 15 points and a game high 13 rebounds. Classmates Marek Dolezaj and Bourama Sidibe were solid in their first real tests in Orange. Dolezaj scored 10 points and grabbed 7 rebounds, while Sidibe poured in 8 points and corralled 4 rebounds.
The player of the game for the Orange was junior point guard Frank Howard who answered the question every Orange fan was asking early on this season: Can Howard lead the team in close games against tough competition? Howard silenced his critics tonight with a double-double as he scored 15 points and dished out 10 assists, in addition to his superb defensive play. Howard turned the ball over just four times and played all forty minutes.
The schedule does not get easier as the Orange will look to build off this win in preparation for a neutral site battle against the second-ranked Kansas Jayhawks who are led by Devonte’ Graham.
It’s a rematch of the 2003 National Championship as the Orange will take on Kansas in their first game away from the Carrier Dome this season in the Hoophall Miami Invitational. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30pm on Saturday, December 2 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida.