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Syracuse men’s basketball: strong surge propels Orange to 95-66 win over Golden Grizzlies

After a slow start, SU’s offense exploded to blow past Oakland

Oakland v Syracuse Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images

The Syracuse Orange started off in a close game with Oakland, but an 18-0 run to close out the half gave them all the momentum in a 95-66 victory over the Golden Grizzlies. ‘Cuse dominated on offense by shooting 58% from the field and 40% from deep. The win snaps SU’s three-game out-of-conference losing streak and gets them back over .500.

Jesse Edwards, fresh off a career-best 22-point performance at Notre Dame, got the scoring started in this one by dropping down a lob from Joe Girard. He’d tally 12 in the first half and 18 overall while the Grizzlies could no nothing to stop him from setting up under the basket.

Oakland’s Trey Townsend kept them in the game early by putting on a one-man clinic, scoring 14 of his team’s 21 points, all of them inside the paint. He couldn’t do it on his own however, as the Grizzlies shot an uninspiring 1/13 from deep in the first half.

With the score 27-24, the Orange finally began to pull away. The momentum shift took off here, when Chris Bell slammed down a one-handed dunk to get the Dome crowd fired up.

From there, JGIII took the reins, drained a pair of threes, and also added a jumper as part of SU’s 18-points in a row to close the half. Girard would finish 7/10 from the floor and 4/7 from deep; those four deep shots are more than he has made in his last four games combined. He also added a season-high six assists.

Yeah, we’re glad to have this version of Joe back for the time being.

Jon Bol Ajak is opening some eyes as a legitimate setup man on the attack; he had three assists and six boards while setting up quality chances in the high post.

The Orange didn’t slow down out of the half, with Jesse throwing down another booming dunk, setting the tempo for the rest of the game.

At one point, Oakland went on a whopping seven-minute stretch without a field goal. They shot an abysmal 5/25 from deep (two of which were well into garbage time).

The Orange bench got plenty of action. Maliq Brown made his long-awaited reemergence with 12 points, Symir Torrence matched that total, and Quadir Copeland had two takeaways despite only making one of six shots.

At the very appropriate time of 4:44 remaining, we even saw a trio of walk-ons make their debuts - Anthony Clayton, Niko Ruffin, and Arthur Cordes. Congratulations gents.

SU is back in the Dome Saturday at 1 against Georgetown. It’s Ring of Honor day as Pearl Washington and Jim Boeheim will be properly inducted after their 2020 ceremonies were disrupted by COVID.