The first half was more of the same for the Syracuse Orange as they looked stagnant on offense, but a dominant second half outing led to their 62-47 win over the Eastern Michigan Eagles. The Orange were incapable of hitting jump shots in the first half, only making five of their 21 attempts; however, Tyus Battle got hot at the right time and the stifling Syracuse defense was in full force as they were able to come away with the win.
This team can’t really shoot
The biggest knock on this year’s Syracuse basketball team has been their inability to hit a jump shot. They have impressed with their defensive and rebounding prowess, but they have lost games and made games closer than they should’ve been because of their inability to shoot from the perimeter.
The Eagles knew this and loved seeing the Orange settle for long range shots rather than attack the paint. The Orange shot 2-12 from deep in the first half, and finished 6-20 from their kryptonite. The Orange cannot compete in the ACC with shooting numbers like that, so opening up the perimeter with more penetration could make those long range shots a bit easier for them.
A Paschal Chukwu sighting
Paschal Chukwu has struggled as of late to say the least. His scoring has seen double figures only once this year, but his size is what he is mostly known for. At 7’2”, Chukwu is supposed to be a rebounding menace, but his last three games have seen rebounding numbers of four, five, and three.
Chukwu took his poor play of late to heart with a performance that truly showed his dominant -presence. The 7’2” center finished with a monster stat line of 15 points, 12 rebounds, and five blocks as he controlled the paint for the Orange on defense and offense. Not only did he use his size to his advantage, but Chukwu made four free throws in a row, a sighting no one thought was possible. Chukwu was a massive reason for why the Orange avoided disappointment, and they are going to need more big time outings from him as they approach ACC play.
Second half Tyus Battle is a lot better than first half Tyus Battle
The storyline of Tyus Battle’s recent shooting struggles was starting to gain some traction in the first half, but the star shooting guard quickly erased that narrative with a dominant second half. After finishing with six points on 1-6 shooting in the first half, Battle went on a shooting tear in the second half to finish the game with 22 points on 7-15 shooting.
Maybe it’s the cold weather or the empty Carrier Dome, but Battle is a different player in the second half. Space on the perimeter starts to open up, and the 6’6” guard finds a way to expose it. The Orange need the second half version of Battle if they want to succeed in the ACC.