Syracuse (6-0, 0-0) rolls over Maryland (6-2, 0-0) 72-70 in the Carrier Dome to remain undefeated.
It was the first of fourteen matchups in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in a back-and-forth affair between the Orange and the Terrapins. Guard Frank Howard was a crucial part for the ’Cuse with 15 points, 10 assists, and 7 steals. The junior was playing with extra energy against a Maryland school that he grew up next door to; getting an early hot start to tonight’s contest with the first four points of the game.
Also playing against a hometown team was Kevin Huerter for the Terps. Growing up in Clifton Park, NY, he had over 300 family members and friends in the Dome watching as he posted 23 points to lead scoring for both sides. Affectionately known as the “Red Mamba," Huerter was red-hot behind the three-point line, going 7-9 downtown.
It would not turn out to be enough for Maryland, however. The story of the game was the Orange’s overpowering performance in the paint on both ends of the court. SU more than doubled the Terrapins’ scoring in the paint 42-20; and defensively, Syracuse posted 38 rebounds, seven more than their opponent.
A huge effort in the paint was Oshae Brissett. The freshman had his third double-double of the young season, leading the way by far with 13 rebounds. On top of that, the young forward put up 15 points, going 5-18 in the field.
Brissett was joined by many in the double-digit scoring club. Frank Howard matched his total; and freshman Marek Dolezaj had a surprise performance playing most of the game, posting 10 points and 7 rebounds.
It was Tyus Battle who led the way for Syracuse again in scoring, though. With 18 points – including a big three right with only one minute left to give SU a late 68-66 lead – the sophomore helped push the Orange over the Terrapins.
Battle would finish the scoring for the ’Cuse with the final nine points in total for the team; and, despite a big three from the Terps’ Kevin Huerter with only 7.5 seconds remaining, SU held on for a 72-70 victory.
Syracuse’s next challenge is a big one. The Orange heads to Miami on Saturday for the Hoophall Invitational to take on the #2 Kansas Jayhawks (5-0, 0-0).