The Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team ended a two-game slide by defeating the Miami Hurricanes 83-57 inside the Carrier Dome. Joe Girard and Buddy Boeheim led the way for Syracuse with 23 points each as Jim Boeheim improved his record to 6-4 all-time against Jim Larranaga.
Head coach Jim Boeheim stuck with his usual starters of Girard, the younger Boeheim, Alan Griffin, Quincy Guerrier and Marek Dolezaj. After missing Miami’s last game with an abscess under his arm, Earl Timberlake returned for the Hurricanes.
By the first media timeout Miami jumped out to a 9-2 behind a quick seven points from Anthony Walker. Syracuse looked lethargic on offense with minimal success dribble penetrating one-on-one against Miami’s perimeter defense in the early going.
To make matters worse, Marek Dolezaj picked up his second foul just six minutes in and was supplanted by Jesse Edwards. Kadary Richmond checked in for Buddy Boeheim shortly thereafter and the freshman made his impact felt immediately as Syracuse responded with a 9-0 run. A transition bucket by Richmond was followed up with a steal that led to a Joe Girard jumpshot that got the Orange within one possession at 11-8. An Alan Griffin three then tied it up on the ensuing offensive possession.
Midway through the first, the elder Boeheim made some lineup adjustments he’s yet to make all season. The younger Boeheim moved to forward in place of Griffin with Richmond and Girard playing the top of the 2-3 zone. Syracuse then extended its lead to 20-14 as Girard hunted shots off-ball.
Most notably, Edwards earned extended time even when Dolezaj checked back in. Dolezaj slid to play his natural position at forward and the Orange began pouring it on offensively. Girard found rhythm from range and went 3-4 from deep. Edwards scored four first half points and grabbed a career high five rebounds.
Syracuse hung with Miami on the boards with the Hurricanes taking a one board lead in the first 20 minutes (17-16). The Orange took a 36-22 lead into the half behind 15 points from Girard as Syracuse kept Miami star Isaiah Wong in check with only one point. The Hurricanes shot 0-11 from distance.
Syracuse came out of the break to a 5-0 run off of a pair of steals out of the 2-3 zone. Griffin filled the lane in transition for a lay-in while the younger Boeheim spaced on the next play to connect on a triple which caused Miami to call a timeout.
Girard continued his inspired play in the second, getting into the lane for twos and finding open teammates. He even connected on a tough triple with the shot-clock winding down despite having Wong in his space. Syracuse stuck with its three-guard lineup of Richmond, Girard and Boeheim with the underclassmen at the top of the zone. Boeheim found a groove in the second half; he connected on four triples in eight attempts.
Larranaga tried some things in the second half to get his team back in it. Miami threw on a desperation press and picked up the defensive pressure in the half-court, but Syracuse drove by the overplay to find easy looks at the rim. Guerrier was often the recipient, which included a sweet no look dime from Richmond for a dunk at one juncture.
The Hurricanes never threatened in the second as The Orange kept them at bay with over a 20 point cushion throughout which allowed Syracuse to play the walk-ons down the stretch.
Girard finished his night with 23 points on 5-9 shooting from deep. Syracuse is 5-0 when Girard scores double-figures or more. Buddy Boeheim had 23 points on 4-8 shooting from three. Guerrier had 18 points and eight rebounds, falling just shy of his third consecutive double-double.
Syracuse won the battle of the boards 34-33 and finished 10-25 shooting from distance. Miami shot 4-25 from downtown and had 17 turnovers to Syracuse’s eight.
Syracuse returns home on Saturday to take on No. 16 Virginia Tech. That game tips at noon and will be streamed on ACCNX.