Duke rolls through Syracuse, 79-59, in Durham
Poor shooting and a flimsy 2-3 zone did Syracuse men's basketball no favors in a 79-59 loss to Duke. WAER's Will Hentschel breaks down what led to the Orange’s second-worst loss of the season.
With 7:47 remaining in the first half, Syracuse center Jesse Edwards slammed in two points to bring the score to 16-15 in favor of Duke. From that moment on, The Blue Devils continued to build on a lead and cushion themselves from any Orange retaliation. Syracuse never managed to get that close again or even tie the game, let alone take the lead.
It’s the short version of a long game as Syracuse (9-10, 3-5 ACC) fell to #6 Duke (15-3, 5-2) 79-59 on Saturday. From the opening whistle at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the Orange were outmatched as familiar scorers didn’t produce, and a potent Blue Devil offense left no chance for any kind of momentum shift.
While you could make the argument that the Orange were competitive in the earlier conference games, they were simply outplayed today. The usual weapons were not there. SU shot 5-29 (17.24%) from behind the arc, the worst performance of 2022 so far. Buddy Boeheim and Joe Girard shot a combined 2-19 from downtown. Combine that with the fact that the Orange were 24-68 (35.29%) from the field, and it starts to make sense why Syracuse was down 14 at the break, the largest halftime deficit of the season.
“They’re just better than us for sure today,” head coach Jim Boehiem said.
Syracuse was led by Jimmy Boeheim and Jesse Edwards, both finishing with 12. Cole Swider wasn’t far behind as he scored 11 in the loss.
The Duke offense made mincemeat of the 2-3 zone by raining threes and bullying its way to the rim. Projected top-5 pick in the upcoming NBA draft, Paolo Banchero posted 15 points with a 6-11 effort on field goals. He also led the match in rebounds with 13. The scoring didn’t end with Banchero. Wendell Moore Jr., AJ Griffin and Mark Williams also reached 15-points. Griffin was the man to beat in the deep-ball contest. The Dallas native produced all of his points on only nine triple attempts.
“I think we’re still good, I think we’ll still finish strong,” Boeheim said. “We can’t shoot 2-16. Some of it’s on Duke, but I could show you ten pretty open looks in the first half that we can make.”
While many of the starters didn’t make an impact, five bench players saw action in Saturday’s game. Symir Torrence led the pack with 25 minutes played, contributing four points. Frank Anselem spent eight minutes on the floor, and put six points up for SU.
While losing to Duke stings for any Syracuse fan, causal or die hard, it especially hurts that Boeheim couldn’t get the better of Krzyzewski in Durham one final time. The last time Boeheim took down Coach K in his own kingdom – and the last time the Orange beat the Blue Devils period – was back in January of 2019 in a 95-91 OT thriller against a Zion Williamson led Duke.
SU will need to flush this game from its system quickly. Right around the corner is a matchup against a comparatively weaker Pittsburgh team on Tuesday. The Orange got the better end of the last matchup against the Panthers two weeks ago in a 77-61 win. WAER’s coverage of that game will start at 7:30 with GZA Countdown to Tipoff, with the game scheduled for 8:00.