Instant Juice: Syracuse 95, Oakland 66

Dec 3, 2022; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim watches in the first half against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at the Purcell Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

A quick take on Syracuse’s dominate 95-66 victory against Oakland Tuesday evening, in front of a small yet enthusiastic crowd at the Dome:

WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse (5-4, 1-0) recorded a season-high point total, including a season-best 45 in the first half in its most impressive performance of the young season.  The ‘Cuse went on an 18-0 run to close out the half to lead by 21 at intermission.  SU kept it rolling against the undermanned Golden Grizzlies in the second half to easily handle its Horizon League foe.  The Orange finished a torrid 58% shooting from the field as the lead ballooned to 40 late in the second half.  Oakland (2-9) was led by forward Trey Townsend who scored a game-high 29 points along with 12 rebounds.  The fifth all-time matchup between the teams spotlighted the most tenured Division I active coaches leading their respective programs, Jim Boeheim in his 47th year at SU, and Greg Kampe in his 39th season with Oakland.

ANALYSIS: The one-sided nature of the game allowed Boeheim to mix and match his lineups getting playing time for 11 scholarship players, and 10 of those 11 finished in the scoring column.  Jesse Edwards and Joe Girard played a strong inside-outside offensive game each scoring a team-high 18 points, with Girard 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.  Among the Orange players opening eyes off the bench was Maliq Brown.  He finished with 12 points (on 6-for-7 shooting from the field) and seven rebounds, making the most of his his 16 minutes of playing time

» Related: Syracuse’s starting backcourt struggles in loss to Illinois

HERO: Edwards, despite sitting out the majority of the second half playing just 23 minutes in the rout, finished 9-for-9 shooting from the field for his 18 points, along with seven boards, two blocks, and a steal.  Before taking the rest of the evening off early in the second half, Edwards had a sequence where he blocked an Oakland shot underneath, then raced down the court to take a lob feed from Girard for an emphatic slam dunk to finish his night’s scoring.

ZERO: Starting forwards Benny Williams (26 minutes) and Chris Bell (12 minutes) continued to struggle rebounding combining for just seven boards, although it did not stand out in such a one-sided outcome.  Both players received on-court tutoring from Boeheim on the subject when they came out together one final time with just over 4:00 to play.

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse continues its six game December homestand hosting longtime rival Georgetown this coming Saturday afternoon, December 10.  Surrounding the game, the university will formally recognize legends Boeheim and Dwayne “Pearl” Washington as members of the school’s Ring of Honor.  A year ago in Washington, D.C., SU suffered one of its most disappointing defeats all season falling to GU 79-75, one of only six Hoyas victories in 2021-22.  Georgetown (4-5) hosts Siena on Wednesday night before heading to the Dome.  Game Time: 1:00 p.m. ET.  TV: ABC.

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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.