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Matt Moyer shows out on the big stage against UConn

The redshirt freshman saved his best game in Orange for Connecticut at MSG.

NCAA Basketball: Connecticut at Syracuse Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports

New York, N.Y. - Surrounded by reporters in the post-game locker room after Syracuse’s nine point victory over Connecticut, Matt Moyer attempts to recollect the best play of his young Syracuse career. It had happened just hours prior — a shot went up and Moyer, hawking from the wing, chased after the offensive rebound, soared into the air and threw the ball down over Eric Cobb with alacrity.

“Something happened where Frank was on the wing and I was in the corner. And there was somebody under the rim and he went and boxed out Frank on the wing. I was like, ‘are you kidding me?’” Moyer recalled. “So I just went in and jumped and the ball came off and just threw it down. Threw it down.”

Jimmy V Classic Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The play itself was stunning, but perhaps what was more staggering was Moyer’s final stat line. The redshirt frosh finished his night posting 18 points, 8 rebounds and a steal. He even knocked down a three in the early going.

But this was undoubtedly his best game in a Syracuse uniform. He scored more points against UConn than he had all season. He even earned the praise of his head coach, something that isn’t doled out that frequently.

“The story of the game, Matt Moyer had a huge game. He’s really struggled all year. He got to the offensive boards, he got three offensive rebound basket tips. He was a big difference in the game,” Jim Boeheim said.

High praise from the Hall-of-Famer, but it wouldn’t be fitting if he only dished out a compliment without a dose of reality.

“He’s been horrible all year. And that’s being nice. I’m being nice. Horrible is a good description, is a nice word for what he’s done. He was a terrific player tonight and I think he can build on this,” Boeheim finished.

There might be some hard truth to that last statement, but what’s certain is that Moyer had his best performance yet, on the biggest stage. He doesn’t have to post those kind of numbers every night, but if he can build off this performance like his head-coach believes he can, Syracuse’s front-court just got a whole lot better.