Syracuse Takes Down TCU
Syracuse defeated TCU, 57-52, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night in Detroit.
Tyus Battle and Frank Howard connected on floaters on back-to-back possessions to give the Orange a 54-49 lead with 1:27 left. The Horned Frogs were unable to get any closer as Matthew Moyer and Pashcal Chukwu converted on their free throws to seal the victory for Syracuse.
The Orange took a 27-20 lead on a layup by Marek Dolezaj with 3:55 to play in the opening stanza, but TCU responded with an 8-0 run to take a one point lead into the break.
After a back-and-forth beginning to the second half, Syracuse took the lead for good on a layup by Bourama Sidibe with 11:18 to go.
In a game where the Orange shot just 36.8% from the floor, including just 3-of-14 from three, their defense stymied the Horned Frogs and held them to just 39.6% from the field and 3-of-17 from distance. Syracuse outrebounded TCU, 37-34, and forced the Horned Frogs into 13 turnovers. The Orange valued the ball and turned the ball over only seven times.
Kenrich Williams led TCU with 14 points, on 7-of-15 shooting, and 8 rebounds. Vladimir Brodziansky scored 13 points and grabbed 4 rebounds.
Syracuse was led by Dolezaj who tallied 17 points and corralled 4 rebounds before he fouled out. Oshae Brissett poured in 15 points on 5-of-17 shooting. Brissett also pulled down 9 rebounds and blocked 3 shots.
Battle and Howard scored 7 points apiece and shot a combined 6-of-23 from the field. Howard recorded 4 rebounds as well.
Chukwu finished with 6 points and 10 rebounds in the win.
Jim Boeheim commented on his team’s performance in his postgame press conference. “I thought that our defense was really good tonight,” Boeheim said. “We just had trouble getting things going on offense. We just decided to go with Oshae. We thought he had an advantage there. He wasn’t having a great game, but it turned out to be the right move. He made three almost impossible shots. But it was our defense. Our defense was tremendous. They’re [TCU] one of the best shooting teams in the country from the three-point line. These guys just played. We did a good job on the boards and didn’t turn the ball over. It was a really good win.”
With the win, the Orange improved to 22-13, while TCU ended their season with a 21-12 record.
Syracuse advanced to take on the 3-seed in the Midwest, Michigan State, on Sunday a 2:40pm. The game can be seen on CBS. The Spartans enter the contest with a 30-4 record. Michigan State is led by All-Big 10 First Team selection Miles Bridges, who is averages 17.3 points and 7 rebounds per game.