Instant Juice: Syracuse 74, Oakland 62

Syracuse Orange forward Elijah Hughes
Dec. 18, 2019; Syracuse. N.Y., USA; Syracuse Orange forward Elijah Hughes (33) drives past Oakland Golden Grizzlies center Brad Brechting during a 74-62 win at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Kicia Sears, The Juice Online.

A quick take on Syracuse’s 74-62 win over Oakland on a snowy Wednesday evening in Syracuse:

WHAT HAPPENED: The pesky Golden Grizzlies stayed within contact of Syracuse throughout the whole evening, at one point pulling to within 63-58 with 6:36 to go after a Blake Lampman 3-pointer. But that is as close as Oakland would get to the upset. Joseph Girard III, playing the most balanced game of his young career, responded on the ensuing possession with a 3-pointer and added a pair of free throws a minute later. Bourama Sidibe’s putback of his own miss with 3:21 to go gave the Orange a 70-60 lead, and Syracuse would wind down the clock from there.

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ANALYSIS: Syracuse struggled to stop Oakland on the interior, surrendering a 30-20 advantage on points in the paint as the Grizzlies shot 15-25 from 2-point range. Oakland center Brad Brechting, who stands at 6-foot-11 and 240 pounds muscled his way to a 20-point, 6-rebound performance, while going a perfect 8-8 from the free throw line. Syracuse big men Quincy Guerrier and Sidibe both ended up with four fouls each while attempting to contain him. That has been a familiar bugaboo this season, and the daunting physicality of the ACC is only two weeks away.

HERO: Offensively, Syracuse’s ‘Big 3’ of Elijah Hughes (20 points), Girard (20 points, 7 assists, 1 turnover) and Buddy Boeheim (14 points) was enough to carry the Orange. Anyone not named them combined for 17 points, showing that the Orange will need to find more sources of offense if they want to be competitive at the turn of the New Year. That said, Boeheim took 13 shots to get his 14 points, as he hit only 3-11 from distance.

ZERO: Syracuse took advantage of a team that came in shooting only 28.6 percent from downtown. True to form, Oakland shot just 4-17 from beyond the arc, with Lampman connecting on only one of his six shots from 3.

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse continues with the soft part of its non-conference schedule, hosting North Florida on Saturday at 6 p.m. TV: ACC Network.

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About Wes Cheng 2907 Articles
Wes has worked for covering the New York Knicks, as well as for covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also been a contributing writer for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), for SportsNet New York (SNY) as a news desk writer covering all of New York professional sports, 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 with a degree in journalism. Contact him at wes[at]