Quick Hits: Syracuse 91, Clemson 78

Girard Va Tech
Jan 8, 2020: Syracuse Orange guard Joe Girard III (11) looks to drive against the Virginia Tech Hokies during a 67-63 loss at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Initra Marilyn, The Juice Online.

Syracuse hung on for a 91-78 win over Clemson on Tuesday evening. Here are some quick thoughts from the game:

  • Joe Girard III snapped out of his shooting slump early, hitting his first three shots of the game, including a pair of treys. Girard shot well from everywhere, hitting 6-of-9 from the floor, including 4-of-5 threes, and all seven of his foul shots. He also made a crafty move on a drive to draw Clemson’s 7th foul of second half with 9:39 to go, getting the Orange into the bonus the rest of the way.

  • The Orange overcame leaky defense inside by patching things up late. Clemson made 20 of their first 28 two-point field goals, but just three of their final eight.
  • Jesse Edwards was a monster in the second half, as he had 12 points, seven boards, and all four of his blocks after halftime. A significant factor in his great game was that he stayed out of foul trouble, playing over 33 minutes while picking up just two fouls. Of course, he picked up three fouls in a span of 35 seconds to foul out with 1:03 left. Mind-boggling.
  • Cole Swider had a rough night, shooting just 2-of-7 while turning the ball over five times. Clemson scored a lay-up or dunk on four of those miscues with only Swider’s chasedown block stopping a lay-up on the fifth turnover.
  • Symir Torrence got significant burn for the second straight game, playing several minutes as part of the three-guard lineup in Swider’s place. Based on early returns, it looks like he just needs to be a steady hand to keep this newfound role.
  • Clemson shot 49.2 percent from the field in the game, the second-highest mark the Orange have allowed in a game this season while still winning.
  • Syracuse, on the other hand, made over half their shots for the seventh time this season. The team is undefeated not just in those games, but also in their eighth-best shooting night, making 49.3 percent of their shots in defeating Indiana.

» Related: Syracuse is in danger of having a losing record for the first time under Boeheim


The Orange return to the road on Saturday, when they will take on #6 Duke. The Blue Devils (14-3, 4-2) had won seven of their last eight games before getting edged at Florida State in overtime on Tuesday night, 79-78.

Duke has three players averaging double figures on the season, led by Paolo Banchero, who leads the squad in points (18.1 per game) and rebounds (7.6 per game). Wendell Moore Jr. backs him with 15.2 points per game and Trevor Keels adds 11.9 points per game. All three are among a half dozen Blue Devils who have made at least 17 three-pointers on the season.

Saturday’s matinee between SU and Duke will start at noon Eastern with ESPN handling television responsibilities.

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About Jim Stechschulte 894 Articles
A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University, Jim has reported on Syracuse sports for the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Southern California on nearly a decade. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by NBA.com. He currently resides in Syracuse.