Brooklyn, N.Y. — In its first game away from the Carrier Dome of the 2019-20 season, the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team fell to the Oklahoma State Cowboys 86-72 as the offense struggled.
Syracuse got off to a slow start, falling behind 11-0 in the early going at the Barclays Center. The Orange missed shots and turned the ball over, allowing Oklahoma State to build an early double-digit lead.
The Syracuse defense settled in though, which allowed the offense to get going as Syracuse got to the free throw line; the first seven Orange points were all from the charity stripe.
After a quick back and forth and a Buddy Boeheim triple, Elijah Hughes got hot for a stretch, going on a self-propelled 9-1 run. After he made a triple at the 12:35 mark and a pair of made free throws, Hughes capped the run with a four point play. Buddy Boeheim found him cross court on an out of bounds underneath, to which Hughes pumped, hesitated and released while drawing contact. He gave Syracuse a 21-14 lead after the made free throw.
Still, Oklahoma State fought back to regain the lead and get Syracuse into foul trouble. Bourama Sidibe picked up three first half fouls, as did Hughes around the five minute mark. Jim Boeheim was forced to sit his go-to player for the remainder of the half.
With Hughes sidelined, the Orange offense struggled. If not for a Robert Braswell three, the Orange would have made zero field goals in the final four minute stretch of the first half. As such, Syracuse trailed 43-31 at the break.
Out of the intermission, it was tough sledding for Syracuse offensively that never really got going. Oklahoma State was able to bolster its lead and to add insult to injury, Sidibe picked up his fourth foul with 16:10 remaining. Hughes would join him in that category with 14:14 remaining and Dolezaj would follow suit shortly thereafter. Boeheim left Hughes and Dolezaj in the game down 19 points despite the foul trouble.
The Orange were able to go on a 7-0 run behind a Joe Girard steal and lay up, a Hughes reverse layup and a Girard three. Another Hughes three after a Yor Anei layup would cut the Cowboy lead to nine. That was as close as Syracuse would get the rest of the way.
The Cowboys kept Syracuse at bay and an Elijah Hughes 28-point career high was for naught, as the Orange fell to 4-2 on the season.
Hughes led the way in scoring with his aforementioned 28 points. Girard had 12 points, 9 assists and 5 turnovers.
Syracuse struggled on offense, shooting 34.5 percent from the floor and 26.7 from three. Conversely, Oklahoma State shot 49.1 percent from the floor.
Syracuse will play again on Friday, November 29. The Orange will face Penn State at 7 p.m. ET.
Same time, same place.