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Syracuse 77, Colgate 56: The Orange get back on track with a win

Tyus Battle came alive in the second half.

NCAA Basketball: Colgate at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange got off to a slow start again, but they were able to separate themselves in the second half and beat the Colgate Raiders by a score of 77-56. The Raiders were hot from deep to start, but Syracuse was able to match Colgate’s scoring with some dribble penetration.

After missing the first four games of the season, Frank Howard returned to action, and he got the scoring going for the Orange with a three from the wing to start the game. With rust being a concern for the senior point guard, Howard stepped right into the three and knocked it down to match Colgate’s early three.

Despite Howard’s early triple, the Orange’s offensive struggles continued early in the first half. The Raiders took a 7-6 lead heading into the first media timeout. Oshae Brissett was getting offensive rebounds around the basket, but there was a lid on the rim that wouldn’t let the struggling sophomore find his rhythm early.

The Raiders were able to dissect the Syracuse zone with ease early in the first half, as they were knocking down three after three. Will Rayman had the hot hand for Colgate, as he had 13 points in the first half.

Brissett continued to struggle throughout the first half as he had seven points on 2-9 shooting in the first 20 minutes of play, but he was aggressively taking the ball to the rim. He grabbed seven offensive rebounds in the first half.

The Raiders continued their hot perimeter shooting throughout the first half, but the Orange found a way to prevent the Raiders from forming a large lead with a few forced turnovers. Marek Dolezaj provided Syracuse a spark, and he was able to get out in transition and create plays for others. A few pull-up jumpers, along with Dolezaj’s savvy play, helped Syracuse cut the Colgate lead to 29-27.

NCAA Basketball: Colgate at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse was able to take a 35-32 lead heading into halftime with help from Bourama Sidibe. With Paschal Chukwu injured, Sidibe was able to get some opportunities inside, as he finished with nine first half points. Tyus Battle had three of his eight first half points on a big three-pointer which helped Syracuse create some separation.

Syracuse’s strong end to the first half didn’t continue to start the second half. Battle opened the half by missing a pair from the line, and Colgate took advantage by hitting two threes to help them retake the 38-37 lead.

With Colgate looking to take control of the game, Battle had one of his classic second half takeovers and helped Syracuse separate themselves. After scoring eight points in the first half, Battle had 14 points in the first nine minutes of the second half (Battle finished with a season 24 points). Battle was attacking the paint and hitting his perimeter shot, as his leadership and scoring tenacity helped the Orange separate themselves from the Raiders.

An Oshae Brissett and-one play gave the Orange a 57-46 lead, as good things started to happen when Brissett and Battle attacked the rim. Battle and Brissett got help from Elijah Hughes in a big way (17 points), as he hit back-to-back threes to give Syracuse a 53-46 lead and forced the Raiders to call a timeout.

NCAA Basketball: Colgate at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Raiders started to cool down from deep, and the Orange were able to rely on their dribble penetration to help extend the lead even more. Battle came out a different player in the second half, as he was relentless with his ability to get to the rim—and this time, he was finishing inside. The play of Battle, Hughes and Brissett were key in giving Syracuse separation and ultimately a win against Colgate.

Syracuse will look to build momentum off of this win with another one next Wednesday against the 23rd ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. The Orange will travel to Columbus on Nov. 28th to participate in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. That game tips at 7pm from Value City Arena.