Freshly Squeezed (3/19)



Syracuse entered the ACC Tournament feeling pretty good about their NCAA Tournament chances for the first time since 2013.

Despite being without leading scorer Tyus Battle due a lower back injury, the Orange defeated Pittsburgh, 73-59, in the first round of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday night. Syracuse trailed the Panthers, 36-30, at halftime, but used an 8-0 run with all 8 points scored by Buddy Boeheim to take a 43-39 lead early in the second stanza. The Orange would not relinquish the lead the rest of the way.

After shooting 60-percent from three-point range in the first half, Pittsburgh cooled down and shot just 30.8-percent from deep after the break. Conversely, Syracuse heated up from beyond the arc down the stretch, shooting 54.6-percent from three in the second half.

Jared Wilson-Frame led the Panthers with 24 points, on 8-of-16 from three-point land, and seven rebounds. Sidy N’Dir added 10 points in the losing effort.

Boeheim paced Syracuse with 20 points, on 6-of-13 shooting, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Elijah Hughes and Frank Howard scored 18 points apiece. Hughes also grabbed four rebounds, dished out three assists, and came away with two steals.

Democrat and Chronicle

The Orange squared off with Duke in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament on Thursday night. Battle missed his second straight game with a lower back injury. After rallying back from as much as a 17 point deficit in the first half, Syracuse tied the game at 46 on a triple by Boeheim with 13:02 to go. The Blue Devils pulled away down the stretch to win 84-72.

In a turnover plagued affair, Duke outshot the Orange as the Blue Devils shot 53.7-percent from the floor, compared to 48.1-percent shooting for Syracuse.

The real difference in the game was that Duke has the best player in the country and the likely #1 pick in the NBA Draft Zion Williamson. Williamson, who returned after missing five consecutive games with a sprained knee, erupted for 29 points on a perfect 13-of-13 from the floor, 14 rebounds, and five steals. Fellow freshman phenomenon RJ Barrett tallied 23 points, on 8-of-16 from the field, and six rebounds. Freshman point guard Tre Jones finished with 15 points and eight assists.

Howard led the Orange with a career-high 28 points, on 11-of-2o shooting, and three assists. Boeheim poured in 15 points, while Oshae Brissett finished with 15 points and seven rebounds.

Despite the loss, Syracuse entered the NCAA Tournament with a record of 20-13. Howard was named to the ACC Tournament Second Team, while Williamson was named the MVP after Duke won the championship game over Florida State, 73-63, Saturday night.

Battle is expected to return in the NCAA Tournament, but playing without him in the ACC Tournament gave others the opportunity to step up, specifically, Howard and Boeheim.


Player of the Week: Frank Howard

The Daily Orange

This week’s player of the week for Syracuse was Frank Howard. After a lower leg injury caused him to miss the first four games of the season, Howard did not play to the form he showed he was capable of during his junior campaign. The senior point guard averaged 23 points on 50-percent shooting in Battle’s absence at the ACC Tournament. With Battle back and Howard and Boeheim shooting with confidence, the Orange just might be poised to make another run in the “Big Dance.”

Up Next: The NCAA Tournament vs. #9 Baylor

For the first time since 2013, Syracuse did not have to sweat it out on Selection Sunday. This year, the Orange were firmly in and earned the 8-seed in the West Region. Syracuse will take on the 9-seed Baylor in Salt Lake City, Utah. Tip-off is set for Thursday night at 9:57pm. The game will be seen on truTV. The Bears are 19-13 overall and are coming off an 83-66 loss to Iowa State in the Big 12 Tournament quarterfinals. Baylor is led by Tristan Clark who is averaging 14.6 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

If the Orange were to defeat the Bears, they would take on the winner of the game between the 1-seed Gonzaga and the 16-seed Fairleigh Dickinson, who defeated Prairie View in the First Four Tuesday night.

Siena at Vermont

Siena Stumbles against Vermont on the Road

Times Union

Siena lost to Vermont Monday night for the 8th straight season, falling 81-57 to the Catamounts in Burlington. Vermont dedicated the court to long-time coach, Tom Brennan, during the pregame festivities. The Catamounts came out of the gates in a flurry and jumped into an early 10-0 lead, which they would never relinquish. Nico Clareth picked up three fouls, including a technical, which limited his playing time in the first half. Clareth came off the bench, yet again, but was blazing hot in the early going, shooting 3-for-3 from the field with a pair of treys, four rebounds, and an assist prior to getting himself in foul trouble.

Defensively, Siena failed to hold down Vermont’s balanced attack. The Catamounts shot 51% from the floor and put six players in double figures. Vermont outrebounded Siena 36-32 and had more blocks (4-3) and steals (8-3).

Drew Urquhart paced the Catamounts with 13 points off the bench, added six rebounds, and 4 blocks.

Offensively, the Saints were held to just 37% shooting and did not record an offensive rebound in the first 20 minutes. Ahsante Shivers led Siena with 17 points and 4 rebounds, while Clareth finished with 16 points and 7 rebounds in just 15 minutes of action.

The Saints, who fell to 2-8 on the season, are struggling to find a rhythm and that is partially due to the lack of consistency in their substitution patterns. Right now, there are seven players that, at one point or another, have proven they can provide substantive minutes in a college basketball game (Clareth, Shivers, Penn, Fisher, Oduro, Richard, and Friday). There is no way that they will get anything going if Coach Patsos continues to experiment with players who have no business seeing playing time.

Just like last year, a humiliating loss to Vermont calls for a major change in the team’s approach to get back on a winning track.

The Saints will return to action on Sunday, December 17 as they travel to Smithfield, Rhode Island to take on the Bryant Bulldogs. Tip-off is set for 1pm.