A quick take on Syracuse’s 66-34 win over Eastern Washington to open the 2018-19 season:
WHAT HAPPENED: After Austin Fadal’s jumper pulled Eastern Washington to within 11-8 with 13:49 to go in the first half, Syracuse went on a 12-0 capped by an Oshae Brissett 3-pointer with 4:20 left before intermission. A 14-0 run early in the second half with several thunderous Brissett dunks put the Orange up 48-13 with 15:24 to go, and the rout was on from there.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse pressed throughout the night and held the Eagles to 22.4 percent shooting from the field and 6-34 from downtown. That ties the fewest points that Syracuse has ever given up in a game, a mark set when SU held Montana to the same number 2013 NCAA Tournament. But Orange head coach Jim Boeheim has plenty to lament about from his own team. The Orange shot just 39 percent from the field and went 3-16 from beyond the arc. During a halftime interview, Boeheim mentioned that EWU was mostly missing its shots as opposed the Orange executing its defense. He made his point clear in the second half, sending all five starters back into the game with 7:47 to go and the Orange winning 60-24.
HERO: Howard Washington saw his first action since he tore his ACL in January. He checked in for Tyus Battle midway through the second half and received a warm ovation from the crowd, contributing three rebounds in his return. Brissett led the way with 20 points and 8 rebounds.
ZERO: Tyus Battle and Buddy Boeheim had forgettable season debuts. The starting backcourt combined for 4-21 shooting from the field and 11 points. Clearly, Battle is more comfortable playing off guard, which he will move back to once Frank Howard returns from injury.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse plays Morehead State on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Carrier Dome.