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Syracuse 89, Seattle 67: Joe Girard III has his breakout game

The freshman led an efficient offense in a blowout win.

NCAA Basketball: Seattle at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Syracuse, N.Y. — The Syracuse men’s basketball team got its second win of the season on Saturday night, beating the Seattle University Redhawks 89-67.

It was also the second game in a row that SU’s student section, Otto’s Army, boycotted in solidarity with protests at the Barnes Center in response to racist graffiti found on campus.

Coach Jim Boeheim made a change to the starting lineup from last game, inserting Joe Girard III in at point guard for Jalen Carey. The other starts remained the same: Buddy Boeheim, Elijah Hughes, Marek Dolezaj, and Bourama Sidibe.

Seattle won the tip, and opened the game’s scoring with a layup on its second possession. Sidibe responded with a layup of his own, and then the Orange got hot on offense. Over the next five minutes, SU went on a 21-7 run that included a combined four three-pointers from Buddy Boeheim, Elijah Hughes, and Joe Girard III. By the 13:43 mark, the Orange led 23-9.

SU cooled down from outside a little after that, going nearly six minutes without a three-pointer. But the Orange found scoring inside and also got to the free throw line 12 times.

The defense remained strong the rest of the half, holding Seattle without a field goal for eight minutes from the 10:21 mark to 2:21 left, with only three free throws made during that time. And SU picked up its scoring from outside again on a Girard III three-pointer with 8:26 left. Then, with 4:04 left, a sequence occurred that best summarized the Orange’s defensive and three-point success in the first half: Hughes swatted a shot at the rim by Seattle’s Myles Carter, and then Girard III hit a three-pointer on the other end. That put SU up 42-20.

Syracuse entered the half up 44-26. The Orange shot 15-24 (62.5 percent) from the field in the first half, including 7-14 (50 percent) from three-point range. Joe Girard III led SU with 13 points, making all four of his field goals (including three three-pointers). SU’s defense held the Redhawks to 9-33 (27.3 percent) from the field, including 1-12 (8.3 percent) from three. Seattle’s Terrell Brown led his team with 12 points.

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

Seattle got the second-half scoring started with a three-pointer on its first possession. Hughes then scored on a play where he backed into his defender, pivoted, and hit a runner, fouled in the process. He made his free throw, but Seattle answered with another three-pointer on the other end.

Despite Girard III scoring six points (one three-pointer, three free throws) and lobbing an alley-oop to Sidibe in the first five minutes of the half, Seattle continued to cut into SU’s lead. By the 11:42 mark, the Redhawks had made seven three-pointers in the half and trailed 61-54.

But the Orange answered, holding the Redhawks scoreless for three minutes. And at the 8:20 mark, Girard III hit his fifth three-pointer of the game, initiating Taco Time for Orange fans and putting the Orange back up 71-56. SU got all of its points inside and at the free throw line the rest of the half, growing its lead to over 20. The Orange walk-ons entered the game in the final minute, and Syracuse won 89-67.

Final Stats

Syracuse shot 28-47 (59.6 percent) from the field, including 9-23 (39.1 percent) from three-point range. Joe Girard III led the Orange with 24 points, shooting 7-8 from the field and 5-6 from three-point range. Marek Dolezaj had 19 points, also 7-8 from the field.

Seattle shot 23-62 (37.1 percent) from the field, including 8-25 (32 percent) from three. Terrell Brown had 23 points for the Redhawks.

Up Next

Jimmy Boeheim and the Cornell Big Red come to the Dome on Wednesday, Nov. 20. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.