Fast reaction: 3 takeaways from No. 2 seed Syracuse’s 11-10 win over No. 15 Yale

first_img Published on May 14, 2017 at 10:08 pm Contact Charlie: csdistur@syr.edu | @charliedisturco Facebook Twitter Google+ ­­­­In the opening round of the NCAA tournament, second-seeded Syracuse (13-2, 4-0 Atlantic Coast) knocked off No. 15 seed Yale (10-6, 5-1 Ivy), 11-10, on Sunday night at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse’s one-goal game marked the team’s 11th single-score bout this season. Freshman Jamie Trimboli and senior Nick Mariano each scored a pair of goals in a back and forth game that ended with redshirt freshman Stephen Rehfuss’ go-ahead goal with just over two minutes left. Despite winning just four faceoffs all game, Syracuse clawed back and defeated the Bulldogs.Here are three quick reactions to SU’s win over Yale.Stephen Rehfuss plays heroReceiving the pass from Jordan Evans, Rehfuss turned and darted around the cage. As the clock neared two minutes and Syracuse remained knotted in a 10-all tie. Coming around the cage and nearing the 15-yard line, Rehfuss turned and fired, hitting the back of the net. He took a couple of steps forward and fist pumped as the crowd erupted.For the first time all game, Rehfuss found the back of the net. And it came when Syracuse needed it badly.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSU’s Achilles heel reappears Ben Williams’ inconsistency seemed to dissipate as the NCAA tournament neared. All season he has struggled at the faceoff X, a location he dominated for three years prior. But on Sunday night, the same Williams that went 21 minutes, 16 seconds without a win in the ACC tournament against North Carolina, reappeared. After winning the opening faceoff, Williams lost seven straight before being replaced by Danny Varello — a common substitute for SU head coach John Desko when Williams struggles. Even Varello struggled, losing three straight before Williams jogged back onto the field.Over 40 minutes separated Syracuse’s first faceoff win with its second. Yet, the team trailed by just two at the time. Varello followed up that win with his second — SU’s third overall — eventually resulting in an Orange goal and an 8-8 tie.The rest of the game remained similar: Varello or Williams would approach the faceoff X and usually jogged off in defeat. But somehow, despite the failures at the X, Syracuse managed to keep the game within striking distance.Third-quarter run saves gameEntering halftime, Syracuse trailed by two. The team had just one second-quarter goal and four total to its name. The offense struggled to find possession time from the struggles at the faceoff X. But, in the third quarter, the defense buckled down and faceoffs began to trickle SU’s way.In the third quarter, SU forced three turnovers and won the ground ball battle, despite trailing 22-7 in grounders at the half. A 5-1 run followed and for the first time since the second quarter, SU gripped onto a one-goal lead.The late third-quarter run gave the Orange enough gas to pull out a lead. While that dissipated in the fourth, the run allowed SU to remain within striking distance until Rehfuss put the game away with a bullet. Commentslast_img read more

Tyus Battle leads Syracuse’s first-half outburst in 81-47 win over St. Bonaventure

first_imgTyus Battle told a joke on the Syracuse bench with under a minute to go on Saturday, and his teammates next to him laughed. Battle hadn’t missed on much of anything he delivered against St. Bonaventure.“The game’s a lot of fun when you’re up by 20,” Battle said. “So that helps.”When Syracuse lost to the Bonnies last season, Battle shot 3 for 18 from the field. It didn’t take him long to get off to a better start this year, as a baseline cut ended in a Battle layup on SU’s first possession. He didn’t miss from the floor in the first half either, heading into halftime at 5-of-5.Battle didn’t cool off the rest of the way, finishing with 21 points on 8-for-8 shooting in Syracuse’s (9-4) 81-47 win over St. Bonaventure (4-9) on Saturday in the Carrier Dome. It was the first game of Battle’s Syracuse career in which he didn’t miss a field goal attempt. He added a career-high six steals as Battle and SU both had their highest first-half point totals this season. In the Orange’s final nonconference game, their best player answered the call and made sure SU wouldn’t face another upset at the hand of the Bonnies.“I wanted to get it back from last year,” Battle said. “Last year hurt, I know that one hurt me a lot. I watched film before this game again and last night just to prepare. And I think I did a decent job.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe 6-foot-6 junior followed his first bucket up quickly with a second, jumping a pass toward the top of the key and taking it the other way for a layup. Then, Battle knocked down two foul shots, used a euro step for two more and pulled up for another deuce for 10 of SU’s first 13 points.As much as Syracuse has been a second-half team for the majority of the year, Battle has been a second-half player, averaging 6.8 points in first halves compared to 10.9 in second halves entering Saturday. He’d scored in double figures in three previous first halves, but never with as many as the 15 he had on Saturday before the break. He’s often appeared to let the game come to him, not taking over and shooting difficult shots until Syracuse needs him to.But on Saturday, Battle didn’t wait. After the early 10, he made his way back to the foul line twice more and didn’t even attempt a 3 in the first 20 minutes after taking nine against St. Bonaventure last year.“He’s been much more efficient this year. His shooting percentages are way up,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said of Battle. “Way up from last year. And I think that’s good. He was aggressive early and just got going early.”Talia Trackim | Digital Design DirectorWith everything going right, Battle drove right before stepping back along the right baseline late in the first half, not hesitating to knock it down with confidence. At one point soon after, Battle laughed alongside Frank Howard after a behind-the-back dribble freed Battle in the backcourt to set up a fastbreak to Howard.Early in the second half, Howard returned the favor as Battle filled the lane off a steal by the point guard. Howard stopped at the foul line and dished to Battle for a righty lay-in off the glass. A few minutes later, Battle spun left to right in the lane before throwing up a righty floater that found all net.Battle made his eighth and final field goal with some help from the home rim, which rolled the ball around and in after a runner from in close. From there, he nabbed a few more steals before checking out with 4:27 to go to a loud ovation. Battle didn’t need to do as much in the second half as he usually does — he’d already put the game out of reach with his first-half outburst. It might’ve been exactly what Syracuse needed.“I was getting pretty easy buckets, bunch of layups, couple pull ups,” Battle said. “Those are shots I usually make. But I haven’t done that since high school, I don’t think,” Battle added of making all his shots. “So that was pretty cool.”After Syracuse’s win on Dec. 22 against Arkansas State, Boeheim said that the Orange were “scratching the surface” on the offensive end. While the season-high in first-half points for the Orange came in a variety of ways, including courtesy of Marek Dolezaj distribution, maybe the recipe for the offense wasn’t anything complicated. Instead, right from the opening tap, Battle took over.Heading into Atlantic Coast Conference play with a nonconference-loss total that’s never led Syracuse to the NCAA Tournament, Battle pointed out a few weeks ago that the high-powered conference gives the Orange plenty of chances for big wins. On Saturday, Battle might’ve given a preview of how the Orange can get those season-changing victories.“We’ve just been upping up the intensity in practice, running more and stuff like that,” Battle said. “I think the guys needed a break, go home, reset everything, see their family which is always nice to do. We just gotta keep things going going into conference play.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 29, 2018 at 4:06 pm Contact Billy: wmheyen@syr.edu | @Wheyen3last_img read more