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Syracuse men’s basketball: Orange fall to Raiders 80-68 in defensive disaster

No toothpaste jokes this year as Colgate takes their second straight against SU.

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

Never allow me to say “‘Cuse isn’t getting embarrassed” in a prediction again.

The Syracuse Orange struggled to defend against the three in the first half, and the Colgate Raiders held on to beat SU 80-68 in a disappointing second act of the young campaign. The final score is pretty deceiving - Colgate led by as much as 18, with the gap only closing a bit in garbage time.

Judah Mintz scored a layup on the opening possession and Joe Girard hit one of his four 3-pointers on the night shortly after. The threes would continue to rain down - the problem is they mostly came from the guys in red.

Tucker Richardson and Oliver Lynch-Daniels were a two-headed Raider monster. They drained back-to-back deep shots to give Colgate an 8-5 lead, and they would ensure that it wasn’t relinquished the whole night. The pair combined for eight 3s in the first half.

The Syracuse defense tried both man and zone formations, but both were picked apart. The zone especially looked flat out terrible - it felt like Groundhog Day with how many times they left a man wide open in the corner. Opposing forward Keegan Records also had one layup on his third rebound.

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

The Raiders racked up an 11/21 tally from the arc in the first half - enough to give them a 44-30 lead heading back to the locker room. A big red flag for the guys not wearing red was their meager two points off the bench before halftime - while they guys who were in red had 17.

Things didn’t get better from there. The first points in the later 20 were another three courtesy of the visitors. They’d finish a whopping 19/38 (50%!!!) on trifectas and 28/59 (47.5%) overall. The Raiders also tallied 22 assists compared to the home team’s nine, showing just how one-sided the ball movement was.

The Orange bench would only add a grand total of four more points, and the starters could not close the gap on their own.

Some positives: Mintz had a great offensive performance and is showing signs of being able to go on hot stretches. He shot an even 50% (8/16, 2/4 from deep) and had 20 points along with four assists. His only negative was four personals.

Benny Williams also had a nice game on offense. He was second on the team with 17 points (a new career-high) and also contributed 8 rebounds in the loss.

Joe Girard and Jesse Edwards also played most of the night and were in the double-digits (14 and 10, respectively); all four of those starters had at least 33 minutes of court time. JGIII notably did not made a shot inside the arc tonight.

Chris Bell missed his only shot of the night, and Justin Taylor was also held scoreless. They played a combined 20 minutes while Symir Torrence logged 25. He didn’t replicate his performance from the game against Lehigh, but he might find himself in the starting rotation soon if the two freshmen continue to struggle.

Next Up:

Syracuse is back in the Dome Saturday at 4 to host Northeastern.