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Syracuse 72, Ohio State 62: Orange get defensive stops and earn a big road victory

Syracuse gets back on the map with a win against the Buckeyes in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus, Ohio — After having a week off since its last basketball game, the Syracuse Orange hit the road to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. It was tough sledding for SU early and the team had to navigate foul trouble, but ultimately Syracuse won with its defense down the stretch and made 11 threes to win 72-62.

Syracuse dug itself into an early 9-2 hole, but was able to climb out thanks to some solid shooting from deep. The Orange have struggled to shoot this season, but that wasn’t on display in the first half as both Elijah Hughes and Marek Dolezaj knocked down a pair each.

Syracuse got itself into some foul trouble early though as Ohio State was able to draw 13 first half fouls on Syracuse — Both Oshae Brissett and Bourama Sidibe picked up 3 a piece. Despite OSU shooting 9-13 from the free throw line, Syracuse was able weather the storm with its shooting. The Orange cut OSU’s lead to 2 at the break on a Tyus Battle lay in.

Syracuse continued its hot shooting early in the second as Frank Howard and Brissett each knocked one down — the latter of the two looked to be aggressive on the offensive end and scored seven points before the first media timeout.

The Orange continued to build upon its lead throughout the second despite managing foul trouble by buckling down on the defensive end and were able to limit OSU to under 40 percent from the field. But both Bourama Sidibe and Dolezaj fouled out before the eight minute media timeout. Soon thereafter Howard would join them by picking up his foul with 4:27 to go.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse stuck in the game down the stretch with some big buckets from Battle, including a left-handed floater to give SU an eight point lead with just over a minute left and OSU fans began to leave the building. After that play Hughes stole the ball on the other end and took it coast to coast for a layup that pushed the Syracuse lead to ten. From there Ohio State fouled and Jalen Carey made 4-4. Syracuse won by a final score of 72-62.

Final Stats

Battle led the way in the scoring column with 20 while Hughes and Brissett added 18 and 14, respectively. Howard and Dolezaj each had eight points. Paschal Chukwu added seven boards. Syracuse made 11 threes and made 45.8 percent from downtown while limiting Ohio State to just 33.3 percent shooting for the game and 28.6 percent from range.

Next Up

Syracuse returns home at 4-2 to take on Cornell and Jimmy Boeheim this Saturday. That game tips at 8 p.m. ET from the Carrier Dome and will air on ESPNU.

For Syracuse basketball stories and updates, follow James on twitter @JamesSzuba