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Syracuse men’s basketball looks to build off weekend momentum against Oakland.

Joe Girard (11) dribbles against Notre Dame.
Joe Girard (11) dribbles against Notre Dame.

After reaching .500 once again with a 62-61 win against Notre Dame on Saturday, Syracuse men’s basketball looks to improve above that mark on Tuesday when it hosts Oakland.

The Orange and Golden Grizzlies have met four times in total. In all four of those matchups, Syracuse has defeated Oakland all four times by over 10 points. Its last matchup with the Horizon League foe came in 2019. Speaking of the Horizon League, that matchup - which the Orange won 74-62 - is the last time SU played a team in that conference.

Last Saturday against Notre Dame, Joe Girard scored 20 points on 50% shooting. This comes after the senior scored 4, 5, and 0 points during SU’s three game losing streak. Head coach Jim Boeheim emphasized how crucial his starting guard was to earn a victory over the Fighting Irish.

“We needed Joe to bounce back, and that was the difference in the game,” Boehim said.

Despite the performance, most of Girard’s efforts shined inside the arc. Beyond the three point line, the Glen Falls native shot a measly 2-for-10. When discussing Girard and Syracuse’s performance from three point range, Boeheim said the team is focused on improving.

Another player that shined in South Bend on Saturday was Jesse Edwards. The Dutchman tied his career high in points with 22, and added 16 rebounds. Boeheim said his big man’s play has allowed this team to excel in all aspects.

“Jesse is playing at a high level right now,” Boeheim said. “We’ve got to get better at giving him the ball in some situations.”

Syracuse will need those two to have good games if it wants to beat Oakland on Tuesday. It’s been a rough season for the Golden Grizzlies so far. Oakland sits at 2-8, and has lost its last five games. On top of that, the Golden Grizzlies have the worst scoring defense in the Horizon League, allowing 80 points per game.

While Oakland hasn’t found a defensive identity, its offense could give the Orange some trouble. Forwards Trey Townsend and Keaton Hervey sit in the top 10 in Horizon League points per game. On top of that, Hervey has the third most rebounds in the conference with 79. Along with the strong offensive play from the two forwards, guard Jalen Moore sits second in the Horizon League in assists with 52.

Gametime between the Orange and Golden Grizzlies is scheduled for 6 p.m. WAER’s coverage begins at 5:30 with McClurg Team Countdown to Tipoff.