What a night it was for Syracuse basketball on Wednesday. SU’s 72-62 win over Ohio State wasn’t predicted by most, but that obviously didn’t matter to the Orange.
The upset gives Syracuse a chance to turn its season back around after a bit of a rocky start.
Those woes certainly didn’t show last night when Tyus Battle stayed hot with 20 points on 6-10 shooting, or when Elijah Hughes dropped 18 on four 3-pointers. However, most impressive of all, Syracuse as a team shot 45.8% from three, which more than doubled its season average.
The Orange looked comfortable against a very capable defensive team in Ohio State, which could bode well for SU in the near future.
Syracuse has a rather winnable slate of home games ahead against Cornell (4-3), Northeastern (3-4), Georgetown (6-1) and Old Dominion (4-3), and just relatively mimicking Wednesday night’s performance could have the Orange at 8-2 before facing No. 21 Buffalo.
Not to look too far ahead, but that Buffalo game is also one that Syracuse can definitely win. Regardless, things still get easier for the Orange after seeing the Bulls on Dec 18.
Syracuse then faces beatable teams in Aransas State (2-4, 0-2) and St. Bonaventure (2-5, 0-1) before conference play gets started at Notre Dame on Jan. 5.
However, for now, SU has an opportunity to salvage its two early losses, and be 11-2 (and probably ranked) heading into ACC play… that wouldn’t be so bad after all.
With the way the Orange played offensively in the second half, on the road against one of the country’s top defensive teams statistically, fans absolutely have reason to be hopeful. It also can’t hurt seeing senior Frank Howard back on the court dusting off some rust either.
So, did it all finally come together for Syracuse on Wednesday? Is the Orange finally free of its offensive struggles? We’ll know in due time.
One thing that can be made certain, however, is if Syracuse does right the ship from here on out, its Nov. 28 win over Ohio State will surely go down as a major turning point in its season.