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Brissett Bounces Back, Leads 'Cuse Past Louisville 69-49

Syracuse now has three victories over ranked teams after dominating the eighteenth-ranked team in the country. The Orange (18-8, 9-4) locked down the Louisville  Cardinals (18-9, 9-5) in the Carrier Dome Wednesday night to win 69-49.

Elijah Hughes led all scorers with 18 points. After starting the game off 1-6 from downtown, Hughes finished 4-10 from behind the arc. All four of the East Carolina transfer’s field goals against Louisville were three-point baskets. Oshae Brissett (16) Buddy Boeheim (14) and Tyus Battle also finished in double figures for the Orange.

The Orange executed on one side of the ball especially well to start the contest. The SU zone held a Cardinals offense averaging over 77 points per game to just ten points at the ten-minute mark of the first half. Louisville only managed 23 first half points in total.

Syracuse’s defense in the opening half was anchored by excellent perimeter defense as well as a cold Louisville backcourt. Senior Christen Cunningham was the only Louisville guard to score in the first twenty minutes of the game. Those points came on two free throws 39 seconds before halftime. The Orange forced 13 turnovers in the game, keeping a streak of 10+ turnovers forced every game this season.

At the 8:11 mark of the first half, Oshae Brissett made an appropriately dominant play to kick off a 12-0 run for the Orange. The sophomore forward tipped an offensive rebound to himself, caught it in mid-air, and banked it off the glass and in. Buddy Boeheim continued the run, knocking down a three off of a Tyus Battle handoff, then following it up with a contested jumper off the dribble. Elijah Hughes made his only triple of the first half the next possession to make it ten straight Syracuse points.

Just a game removed from scoring two points and grabbing five rebounds against North Carolina State, Oshae Brissett ended the 12-0 run with another interior bucket. Syracuse’s leading rebounder eclipsed his performance from last time out early in Wednesday night’s game, leading all players in the first half with twelve points and six assists.

Brissett was in the paint all night against Louisville. His layup almost three minutes into the second half brought the Orange out of a sloppy start to the period which featured two turnovers, one of which led to a breakaway dunk for the Cardinals. That dunk by Khwan Fore brought Louisville’s deficit to eight points. After Oshae Brissett’s thirteenth and fourteenth points of the game, the Orange’s lead never fell below ten points.

After shooting an acceptable 29% shooting on 5-17 from downtown in the first half, Syracuse shot 46% on 6-13 on threes in the final twenty minutes of the game. The only Cardinal to reach double-digit scoring was Jordan Nwora. Louisville’s leading scorer on the season came in averaging over 17 points a game, but the sophomore could only muster eleven points against a game Syracuse defense.

Despite starting the game, center Paschal Chukwu and guard Frank Howard played just 16 and 11 minutes respectively. Chukwu picked up his second foul early in the first half and was replaced by Marek Dolezaj. The Slovakian forward played 23 minutes, and was often joined by freshman Buddy Boeheim. The guard shot 5-10 on the night, draining four threes along with a jumper in the lane.

This Saturday: The big one. Syracuse hosts Duke at 6 p.m. looking to pull off a second upset win over the country’s most NBA-ready team this season. College gameday will be at the event the morning of the game. Of course, you can listen to the Orange’s biggest game of the season on WAER 88.3 FM.