A quick take on Syracuse’s 77-56 win over Colgate on Wednesday evening:
WHAT HAPPENED: After Rapolas Ivanauskas hit a 3-pointer with 18:16 left in the second half, the Syracuse faithful became jittery with the Orange trailing 38-35. But a 17-0 run midway through the second half capped by a Marek Dolezaj put back made it 69-46 with 7:05 to go, as the Orange finally found its shooting touch after a tough start to the season.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse’s shooting troubles during the first four games of the season had partially been attributed to the absence of senior point guard Frank Howard. SU came into Wednesday’s matchup shooting a frigid 20.5 percent from downtown and 38.9 percent from the field. Howard did nothing to change that in the first half, as the Orange started just 2 for 10 from distance and 12 for 34 from the field. But Tyus Battle and Elijah Hughes hit back-to-back 3s to give the Orange a six point lead with 12:16 to go and a Jim Boeheim jacket toss happened shortly thereafter following an SU defensive lapse seemed to be the impetus to wake the Orange from the doldrums. Syracuse went on to shoot 43.3 percent from the field and 7 for 20 from beyond the arc. For Howard’s part, he finished with 5 assists, a season high for this Orange team.
HERO: Battle’s 24 points and 3 for 3 shooting from downtown led Syracuse. With the Orange struggling to find its offensive rhythm, the strategy seemed to be to give him the ball and get out of the way as he jump started the offense. It certainly worked. Hughes chipped in 17.
ZERO: Oshae Brissett had his third straight game of looking uncomfortable. With his 3-point shot faltering in New York City, Brissett made a concerted effort to get inside, collecting 9 offensive rebounds. But he struggled to finish, shooting 5 for 15 from the field despite attempting only one 3-pointer (that he missed).
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will play Ohio State in the Big 10/ACC Challenge on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 7:00 p.m.