Brooklyn, NY ― The Syracuse Orange got here up with simply sufficient key performs to outlast Richmond, 74-71 in overtime on the primary evening of the Empire Classic right here at Barclays Center on Monday.
Joe Girard scored a career-high 31 factors, however the Orange wanted huge performances from a pair of freshmen to carry off the Spiders.
Chris Bell, a 6-7 small ahead, had struggled in Syracuse’s first three video games of the 12 months, however he scored 11 factors towards Richmond. Bell knocked down a clutch jumper for a 70-68 lead with 2 minutes left in overtime.
Freshman level guard Judah Mintz scored 16 factors, together with a troublesome step-through shot that gave the Orange a 72-68 lead with just below a minute left in overtime.
Syracuse (3-1) will play both Temple or St. John’s in Tuesday’s championship sport.
Syracuse and Richmond took turns buying and selling key photographs all through the second half and overtime. Neither group led by greater than 5 factors after Richmond erased an early 16-5 deficit and closed to inside 34-29 at halftime.
Syracuse trailed 62-57 with 6 minutes left in regulation however scored six-straight factors to take a 63-62 lead. The Orange had the ball, however Girard missed all the pieces on a 3-point try with a minute remaining.
Mintz fouled Richmond’s Tyler Burton on a drive to the basket with 52 seconds left. Burton made the primary, however missed the second. The ball bounced out of bounds. Initially, the referees gave Richmond the ball, however a video evaluation reversed the decision.
Syracuse had the ball with the rating tied at 63 with 50 seconds left. After a timeout, Syracuse cleared the courtroom for Girard, who obtained off a contested jumper that caromed off the rim.
Syracuse middle Jesse Edwards got here down with the rebound however couldn’t keep management and wound up in a scrum on the ground. The Spiders had the possession arrow and obtained the ball again with 19.3 seconds left.
The sport went into overtime when Richmond turned the ball over and Mintz tried to feed the ball to Edwards beneath the basket as time ran out.
Syracuse restricted Richmond to only one basket over the ultimate six minutes.
Girard’s 31 factors got here on 12-for-24 field-goal taking pictures. He eclipsed his earlier excessive of 30 units two years in the past towards NC State.
Edwards performed simply 6 minutes in the primary half resulting from foul bother, however he got here up huge in the second half and the overtime interval, ending with 10 factors, eight rebounds and 6 blocked photographs.
Richmond struggled to seek out photographs towards Syracuse’s 2-3 zone in the primary half, however the Spiders appeared to have a a lot clearer plan in the second half.
The Spiders saved the ground unfold and stationed All-Atlantic 10 participant Tyler Burton in the excessive submit space the place he was too fast for Edwards. If the Spiders weren’t getting an open 3-pointer, Burton was maneuvering for photographs in the lane.
Syracuse stayed with the Spiders, taking a 57-56 lead when Benny Williams dropped in a turnaround jumper. But Richmond answered with back-to-back 3s from Jason Roche and Isaiah Bigelow for a 62-57 lead with 5:51 left in the sport.
Richmond grabbed its first lead of the sport when level guard Jason Nelson opened the second half with back-to-back 3-pointers. The second of Nelson’s two 3s gave the Spiders a 35-34 lead. A couple of minutes later, Bigelow poured in one other 3-pointer, inflicting Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim to name for a timeout lower than three minutes into the second interval.
Syracuse rode Girard’s unbelievable taking pictures show to a 34-29 halftime lead. Girard scored 21 factors in the primary half on 9-for-13 taking pictures. The 6-foot-1 guard linked on three of his 5 3-point makes an attempt.
Girard scored on quite a lot of 3-pointers, mid-range jumpers and drives to the basket. He scored 12 of SU’s final 14 factors of the half.
Syracuse jumped out to an early 16-5 lead, however the momentum shifted when Edwards went to the bench after choosing up his second foul with 13:48 left in the half. Edwards remained on the bench for the remainder of the half.
Richmond, which had struggled to seek out any open appears towards Syracuse’s 2-3 zone in the opening minutes, shortly closed the hole to 20-18 in simply 4 minutes.
Although the Spiders made simply 38% of their photographs in the half, they created extra offensive alternatives with 18 rebounds to simply 11 for the Orange. Half of Richmond’s rebounds got here on the offensive glass.
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