A second half surge propelled Syracuse Basketball (4-2) to their best win of their young 2018-2019 campaign in a 72-62 win at No. 16 Ohio State (6-1). The game was part of the annual ACC-Big Ten Challenge and was the Orange’s first win over a ranked opponent this season.
Ohio State entered the locker room with a 31-29 lead at halftime, but the Syracuse offense clicked in the second half, silencing the home crowd. Tyus Battle once again led all scorers, this time with 20 points, for Syracuse. Elijah Hughes and Oshae Brissett also scored double digits with 18 and 14 points respectively.
Syracuse has struggled to shoot the three ball all season, but connected on a season high 11 three pointers against Ohio State. The Buckeyes hit just six of their three point attempts.
Senior C.J. Jackson led the way for Ohio State with 19 points, but was just four of 14 shooting and nine of Jackson’s points came from the free throw line. Ohio State, who was averaging 81 points per game coming into Wednesday’s outing, shot just 32.6% as a team.
Foul trouble again caused problems for Syracuse. Frank Howard, Marek Dolezaj and Bourama Sidibe fouled out in the second half. Pascal Chukwu used four of his fouls and played great defense for the Orange in the second half. Chukwu collected a team high seven rebounds and a monster block that preserved a six point lead with two minutes remaining.
It was Syracuse’s first true road game of the season, and a win that should alleviate some of the pressure that had mounted after disappointing losses to UConn and Oregon in the 2K Empire Classic.
The Orange victory evened the ACC-Big Ten Challenge at five wins for each conference. Syracuse’s record in the Challenge improved to 2-3 since joining the ACC in 2013.
Syracuse will return home and host Cornell - and Jimmy Boeheim - on Saturday night in the Carrier Dome at 8:00.