A quick take on Syracuse’s 63-55 win over Cornell in Boeheim Bowl II on Saturday evening at the Carrier Dome:
WHAT HAPPENED: With 7:53 left to go, a Matt Morgan 3-pointer gave Cornell an improbable 48-47 lead and had the upset minded Big Red believing. But Tyus Battle responded with a 3-pointer and a layup, and Elijah Hughes and Frank Howard followed with their first points of the game shortly thereafter. Howard’s first basket, a 3-pointer after he had missed his first six shots from beyond the arc, gave the Orange a 59-52 with 2:19 to go gave the Orange breathing room, and SU was able to hold on from there.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse seemed to have solved its offensive issues with the return of Frank Howard. For the third straight game, the Orange had positive offensive numbers, shooting 50 percent from the field and 8-21 from downtown. But its defense left a lot to be desired. Cornell was able to pick apart the 2-3 zone, nonplussed by the superior athleticism of the Orange. Matt Morgan went 6-10 from downtown, and the Big Red shot 47 percent from the field and 9-23 from distance. One such 3 in the first half led to Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim slamming his jacket to the court. The Big Red came in as 20 point underdogs and hung in until the waning minutes, an ominous sign for SU as conference play approaches.
HERO: You had to feel for Juli Boeheim in this game. Her elder son, Jimmy Boeheim, finished with 9 points. On the other sideline, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim and younger son Buddy came away with the win, with Buddy returning to the rotation one game after not playing at all against Ohio State. He finished with a 3-pointer in Boeheim Bowl II. Tyus Battle and Oshae Brissett paced SU with a combined 45 points, while Morgan finished with 26.
ZERO: Howard and Hughes didn’t score until late in the second half, combining for 2-10 shooting for 7 points.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will continue its homestand on Tuesday, December 4 at 6:45 p.m. against Northeastern at the Carrier Dome. TV: ACC Network.