Syracuse Downed by Kansas for its First Loss of the Season
Kansas used a stellar performance from senior point guard Devonte’ Graham to hand Syracuse its first loss of the season, 76-60, in the Hoophall Miami Invitational. After a Tyus Battle layup tied the score at 16, Kansas used a 19-5 run to pull away from Syracuse in the last seven minutes of the first half. Graham scored 14 of his game-high 35 points over that stretch to give the Jayhawks a 35-21 advantage at halftime.
Kansas raced to a 49-31 lead out of the break. The Orange used an 11-0 run to cut the Jayhawks’ lead to seven, but that was as close as they would get in the defeat.
Neither team could get anything going offensively in the first 13 minutes of the game. Kansas made the necessary adjustments and dissected Syracuse’s zone from that point forward. The Jayhawks made 11 threes and beat the Orange for four dunks on lob plays over the back line of the zone.
Offensively, Syracuse struggled all night as they shot just 32.1% from the field. The Orange were led by Tyus Battle who tallied 22 points and played all 40 minutes. Frank Howard was limited in the first half after he picked up 3 fouls in the opening stanza. He picked it up in the second half and finished with 15 points and 7 assists. Freshman Oshae Brissett, like Battle, played all 40 minutes and turned in 13 points and 9 rebounds. Paschal Chukwu had a solid performance for the Orange and added 7 points and 7 rebounds.
Aside from Brissett, the rest of the freshman struggled in their first game away from the Carrier Dome. Matthew Moyer, Bourama Sidibe, Howard Washington, and Marek Dolezaj combined for just 3 points in the loss. Moving forward, Syracuse will need steady contributions from these four as USF-transfer Geno Thorpe elected to leave the team due to personal reasons last week. This leaves Washington as the only guard on scholarship available to come off the bench. Washington had played sparingly during the month of November as Howard, Battle, and Thorpe saw a majority of the minutes at the guard positions. He, along with the rest of the freshman, will need to step up in Thorpe’s absence.
Syracuse will look to rebound from Saturday’s loss as they take on former Big East foe Connecticut in the night-cap of the Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday, December 5 at Madison Square Garden. Tip-off is set for 9pm.