After back-to-back losses to Connecticut and Oregon at Madison Square Garden last week, Syracuse Basketball was dropped from the national rankings. Before even thinking about rankings, however, Jim Boeheim's team needed a win to get their record back over .500, with an opportunity at the Carrier Dome Wednesday night against Colgate.
Tyus Battle led all scorers with 24 points for Syracuse (3-2,) one of four in double digits in a 77-56 win over Colgate (4-2.)
Battle heated up in the second half with 16 points and all three of his three-pointers. His hot shooting in the latter frame carried over to his team, as Syracuse connected on 14 of 26 field goals in the second period, including 5 of 10 from long range. The Orange led only 35-32 coming into the break, but ended the game on a 36-13 run in the last 16:15.
The return of point guard Frank Howard (ankle) placed Battle back at his natural position of a more off-ball shooting guard. Howard started in his season debut, handing out five assists to go along with 1-for-5 shooting in 19 minutes.
Bourama Sidibe (10 points, 11 rebounds) filled in admirably for Orange starting center Paschal Chukwu, who left after four minutes and did not return with what appeared to be a thigh injury. Boeheim had no update postgame.
Colgate attempted 40 three-pointers, making 12. The Raiders made half as many two-pointers (six) as those 12 threes. Will Rayman and Jordan Burns led the way with 13 points each.
Elijah Hughes and Oshae Brissett added 17 each for the Orange, who bounced back after a disappointing performance in Madison Square Garden's 2k Classic last week. The 2-2 to start to the season was the first since 1987-88 for Syracuse.