Instant Juice: Syracuse 57, TCU 52

Jim Boeheim
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim reacts to a play in the first half. MANDATORY CREDIT: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports.

A quick take on Syracuse’s 57-52 win over TCU in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Detroit, Mich:

WHAT HAPPENED: With Syracuse leading 50-49 late, Tyus Battle and Frank Howard hit consecutive runners in the lane to give the Orange an unassailable 54-49 lead with 1:31 left. Matt Moyer and Paschal Chukwu added three more free throws and Syracuse upset the No. 6 seed in the midwest region to move on to the NCAA’s third round.

» Related: Why did Syracuse make the NCAA Tournament? Its resume.

ANALYSIS: The script played out similarly to Wednesday night’s game against Arizona State, with the Orange holding a top-flight offensive team to a substandard performance. The Horned Frogs came in averaging 83.0 points (18th in the NCAA) and 18.8 assists (second), but aside from a few short spurts late in the first half and early in the second, struggled against SU’s vaunted 2-3 zone. TCU shot 39.6 percent from the field and 3-17 from downtown, with nearly as many turnovers (13) as assists (14).

HERO: Before fouling out with 6:12 left, Marek Dolezaj played the best game of his Syracuse career, leading the Orange with 17 points on 8-13 shooting to go with four rebounds. With Dolezaj watching from the sidelines, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim put the game in the hands of star freshman Oshae Brissett, who relentlessly drove to the hoop, scoring five points in the span of three minutes, including a long jumper that gave the Orange a 48-45 lead with 4:46 to go.

ZERO: Kenrich Williams and Alex Robinson combined for 0-8 shooting from beyond the arc, though Robinson did add eight assists and five rebounds. The Orange survived despite its starting backcourt of Battle and Howard combining for 6-23 shooting from the field and just 14 points.

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will play Michigan on Sunday at 2:40 p.m. in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. TV: CBS.

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Wes Cheng
About Wes Cheng 2282 Articles
Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.