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Syracuse 97, Bucknell 46: Orange roll Bison on both ends of the court

The Orange were on fire against Bucknell on Saturday.

Bucknell v Syracuse Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images

Syracuse, N.Y. — On Saturday afternoon, the Syracuse men’s basketball team beat the Bucknell Bison 97-46 in the second of two NIT Season Tip-Off campus games before the main event next week.

The starting lineup remained the same for the third straight game: Joe Girard III, Buddy Boeheim, Elijah Hughes, Marek Dolezaj, and Bourama Sidibe.

Bucknell won the tip, but Girard III got a steal and passed the ball in transition to Boeheim, who then kicked it to Hughes in the corner for a three-pointer on the Orange’s first possession. After a dunk by Sidibe, a three-pointer by Bucknell’s Avi Toomer, and a jumper and three-pointer by Hughes, Syracuse led 10-5 at the first media timeout with 15:19 left in the first half.

From there, the Orange dominated on both sides of the court the rest of the half.

On offense, the Orange shot 18-31 from the field and were hot from long distance, hitting 8-17 three-pointers. Hughes led with four triples in the first half. Boeheim and Girard III also combined for four three-pointers, including back-to-back corner shots in transition with a few minutes left in the half. The Orange passed the ball well, totaling 13 assists on 18 made shots.

On defense, the Orange had seven steals in the first half, fueling transition scoring. They also had seven blocks: Hughes, Sidibe, and Quincy Guerrier each had two, and Girard III had one. The blocks came from all over: at the rim, on corner three-pointers, and from behind on jumpers. With just under four minutes left in the half, Dolezaj blocked a Bucknell player at the rim and pinned the ball between the rim and the backboard. It was called a foul, however, and Bucknell’s Bruce Moore made two free throws at the line.

Bucknell shot 9-27 from the field in the first half, and 3-13 from three-point range.

At the intermission, Syracuse led 51-26.

Bucknell v Syracuse Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images

To start the second half, the Orange scored on their first six possessions. Sidibe got his own rebound twice and scored inside, Girard III scored on a layup, Dolezaj layed it in off a pass from Hughes, Buddy Boeheim hit two three-pointers, and then Dolezaj hit two free throws. Bucknell hit three free throws over that span. At a meda timeout with 15:36 left in the second half, Syracuse led 65-29.

After the timeout, Boeheim hit back-to-back three-pointers to put SU up 71-31 and bring SU fans Taco Time with 14:39 left in the second half. Boeheim was subbed out of the game after that for Howard Washington, who hit a three-pointer after Hughes scored five quick points on a dunk and three and Brycen Goodine converted a layup. At a media timeout with 10:52 left in the game, the Orange led 81-33.

Coach Jim Boeheim sat all of his starters the rest of the game, subbing out Dolezaj and Hughes for Jesse Edwards and Robert Braswell IV. As a result, the Orange cooled down from the first 30 minutes of the contest. With 1:40 left in the game and Syracuse leading 93-42, the Orange walk-ons entered the game, accompanied by Jesse Edwards, who scored four more points.

Final Stats

Syracuse shot 37-66 (56.1 percent) from the field, including 14-29 (48.3 percent) from three-point range. Boeheim had 22 points in 24 minutes for the Orange, including 6-8 from three-point range, and Hughes finished with 21 points in just 26 minutes, shooting 5-10 from three. The Orange outrebounded Bucknell 44-32, and had 25 assists, 14 steals, and 13 blocks.

Bucknell shot 15-57 (26.3 percent) in the game, and 3-24 (12.5 percent) from three. The Bison committed 23 turnovers. Bruce Moore had 17 points for the Bison.

Up Next

The Orange travel to Brooklyn next week, where they will face Oklahoma State on Wednesday in the semifinal of the NIT Season Tip-Off at the Barclays Center. That game starts at 7 p.m.