Despite not fielding as many Syracuse Orange alumni this year’s version of Boeheim’s Army might be as talented as any that has entered The Basketball Tournament. Boeheim’s Army started a group of Tyrese Rice, DJ Kennedy, Malachi Richardson, Chris McCollough and Tyler Lydon and they quickly jumped out to a 5-0 lead on Forces of Seoul. At the first tv timeout FOS had cut the deficit to 11-8 as the Army struggled shooting the ball.
Malachi Richardson hit his first four shots and finished the first quarter with 11 points Boeheim’s Army led 16-15 after the first quarter. Other than Richardson the rest of the BA was only 2 for 14 from the floor in the first. New BA Head Coach Jeremy Pope switched defenses to start the second quarter coming out in a man to man look. The size of Forces of Seoul and turnovers caused problems for BA as Brandon Brown made the score 21-18 heading into the second quarter tv timeout. Boeheim’s Army failed to get anything going the rest of the quarter and entered halftime down by a score of 29-23. Richardson led the way with 11 first-half points while Torian Graham led FOS with 13 points.
Tyrese Rice got Boeheim’s Army back into the game and after and-one by Richardson the game was tied at 34. A 3 from McCollough gave BA the lead back at 37-36 but FOS responded and went into a timeout up 41-37. DeAndre Kane came to life and scored four in a row but Graham went on a 5-0 run himself to push FOS’ lead back to 7 as the third quarter ended with the score 50-43.
Kane made it a 50-46 game after a strong drive and foul shot. Rice then capped an 8-0 run with a 3 to put BA up 51-50 and it was the trio of Rice, Kane and Kennedy who made plays on the defensive end to make the score 55-52 at the under 4 minute mark. This triggered the Elam Ending with the target score 63. Richardson hit a 3 and BA was up 58-52 and then Rice banked in a 3 at the end of the shot clock to put BA within two points of the win. He clinched the win with a free throw followed by a 3 to end make it a 65-53 win.
After a poor first half, BA out-scored FOS 22-3 in the fourth quarter with the veteran additions leading the way on both ends of the floor. That’s why you add players like that when trying to win a single-elimination tournament.
Rice had 20 points and 5 assists to lead Boeheim’s Army with Richardson chipping in 19 points. McCullough contributed 12 points and 8 rebounds and Kane finished with 7 points and 8 rebounds off the bench.
Boeheim’s Army will face the winner of Overlooked and Heartfire on Monday night at 7:00 pm eastern. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2 and we’ll have coverage here.