Instant Juice: Syracuse 62, Northeastern 56

Dec 16, 2020; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim reacts to a play against the Northeastern Huskies during the first half at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

A quick take on Syracuse’s hard-fought 62-56 win against Northeastern, in a hastily arranged 27th scheduled game of the season Wednesday afternoon at the Dome:

WHAT HAPPENED: The rare regular season weekday matinee, that was only officially announced late Monday morning, showed Syracuse (5-1) certainly did not look like the same team that blew out Boston College last weekend.  Syracuse needed to turn up the defensive pressure in the second half to keep the pesky Colonial Athletic Association member Huskies at bay, and hold on for the victory.  The Orange shot just 31% from the field, and only 11% (2-for-18) from three point range.

ANALYSIS: In a sloppy performance similar to the opening-game one-point squeaker against Bryant, SU looked a step behind at both ends of the court allowing the Huskies to get numerous open looks from beyond the arc, and making it evident why Jim Boeheim wanted another non-conference tune-up for his still-developing team.  The ‘Cuse tilted the game’s flow by pressing Northeastern (1-2) most of the second half, and still had to hold on to escape a shocking loss.  NU suffered a tough break when point guard Tyson Walker got hurt and left the game 2:00 into second half after scoring seven points and dishing out four assists, or the Huskies may have been more in control of pulling off the upset.  The ever-steady Joe Girard had a game-high 21 points, three assists and six steals.

HERO: Continuing his strong sophomore campaign, Quincy Guerrier was a major factor for the Orange all afternoon.  Guerrier had a double-double just 3:00 into the second half, finishing with a career-high 16 rebounds to go along with his great inside play that resulted in 18 points.

» Related: Syracuse routs Boston College to open ACC play

ZERO: Syracuse’s leading scorer, Alan Griffin, who was averaging over 18 points a game, struggled mightily the entire afternoon.  Griffin did not score finishing 0-4 from the field, sitting out the final 11:00 of the game.  Buddy Boeheim also could not get his shot on target ending 1-for-12 from the field, missing all three of his shots beyond the arc, finishing with just two points.

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse remains home for another non-conference game against Buffalo this Sat., Dec. 19.  The teams last met in 2018 when the Bulls pulled out a 71-59 upset shocker at the Dome.  Buffalo (3-2) dominated Miami (OH) 90-62 Tuesday night in its second MAC game of the season.  Game Time: 6:00 p.m. ET. TV: ACC Network.

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About Brad Bierman 848 Articles
Now in his sixth decade of covering SU sports, Brad was sports director of WSYR radio for eight years into the early 1990s, then wrote the Orange Watch column for The Big Orange/The Juice print publication for 18 years. A Syracuse University graduate, Brad currently runs his own media consulting business in the Philadelphia suburbs. Follow him on Twitter @BradBierman.