Instant Juice: Syracuse 72, Bryant 73

Nov 15, 2022; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim speaks with the media following Syracuse's 80-68 loss to Colgate at JMA Wireless Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brett Gustin-The Juice Online.

A quick take on Syracuse’s 73-72 loss to Bryant on Saturday afternoon at the JMA Wireless Dome:

WHAT HAPPENED: In a game filled with drama after a first half benches clearing skirmish, this one took till the final second to decide the winner. Syracuse had trailed for the majority of the afternoon, holding a lead for less than two minutes combined, but remained in striking distance through the entirety of the game. With 8.1 on the clock and Syracuse down by one, Joe Girard hit two free throws to give Syracuse the lead 72-71. But with 3.1 left on the clock, Bryant’s Sherif Gross-Bullock went the distance of the court and shot, and the ball bounced twice on the rim and finally fell through for Bryant with just .8 left. It gave the Bulldogs the go-ahead points they needed in their 73-72 victory over the Orange.

ANALYSIS: This one may have stung a bit more for the Orange than other losses this year. At the 7:35 mark in the first half, Syracuse’s Judah Mintz was shoved after a whistle. Mintz retaliated with a slap to Bryant’s Doug Edert. Edert then slapped Mintz in the back of the head which caught the attention of the officials and enticed both benches to clear. “Judah got pushed then he swung,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “You can’t do that, you have to learn. It’s a hard way to learn but that’s the way it is.” With Syracuse losing their top scorer early, it was tough for the Orange to climb out of the hole they put themselves in early on. After a reviewing the extracurricular activities, the officials ejected both Mintz and Edert as well as Bryant’s Tyler Blesford and Kvonn Cramer.

» Related: Syracuse outdueled by St. John’s in overtime

HERO: Jesse Edwards played 31 minutes, and grabbed a career-high 21 rebounds to go with 12 points and two blocks. But he was not in the game in the waning moments as Bryant hit its game winner because he had fouled out. “The first couple fouls [Jesse Edwards] gets takes him out of the game,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “If he’s in the game at the end he blocks that shot. He’s just got to be better at that.” With Girard struggling through a 1-12 night, Justin Taylor came off the bench to lead the Orange with 25 points. Antawn Walker paced the Bulldogs with 18 points, one of four Bryant players in double figures.

ZERO: Mintz had this to say on his ejection: “To be honest, I really just lost my cool. We knew they wanted to be physical when we first got out there, there was a lot of pushing and shoving but at the end of the day I just lost my cool and I can’t afford to do that as a player or as a point guard.” Aside from the four player ejections, Syracuse had a couple of assistant coaches ejected as well, who came out onto the court to assist in de-escalating any sort of fights. “It’s against the rules for assistant coaches to go out on the court,” Boeheim said. “They were trying to help and separate guys [. . .] I can go but they can’t. It’s a terrible rule but it’s a rule.”

After the game Boeheim met with Bryant’s head coach, Jared Grasso, at midcourt to have some words. “His players didn’t come to shake hands,” Boeheim said. “We lost, we shook hands, that’s what you do, win or lose. [Coach Grasso] gave me a sarcastic apology which fits him.”

WHAT’S NEXT: The Orange fall to 3-3 on the year after Saturday’s loss. They travel to No. 16 Illinois on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 7:30 p.m. for the ACC-Big 10 Challenge. TV: ESPN.

For more Syracuse coverage, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and listen to our podcast.