SYRACUSE, N.Y. (SYRACUSE ATHLETICS) –
Bryant’s Sherif Gross-Bullock took an inbounds pass the length of the court and saw his last-second shot in the lane bounce off the rim and in to give the visitors a 73-72 triumph against Syracuse in the JMA Wireless Dome. The Bulldogs improved to 5-1 while the Orange fell to 3-3.
Syracuse center Jesse Edwards had 12 points and a career-best 21 rebounds before fouling out and freshman guard Justin Taylor had a season-best 25 points off the bench.
WHEN THE GAME WAS DECIDED
Senior guard Joseph Girard III had put the Orange ahead, 72-71, by hitting two free throws with eight seconds left. Gross-Bullock then performed his heroics, converting the game winner with 0.8 on the clock. A long, desperation pass from the Orange fell incomplete.
KEEPING IT LOW
With the contest tied 6-6, the Bulldogs pieced together a 16-7 stretch, led by Charles Pride’s five points, to make it a 22-13 ballgame. The Bulldogs expanded their lead to as high as 13 points in the first frame and put an exclamation point on the first half with a long-distance 3-pointer just prior to the horn. Bryant went to the break with a 40-29 advantage.
Bryant had an 18-6 edge on points in the paint over the first 20 minutes of play.
TROUBLE ON THE HILL
The contest was marred by a first-half scuffle. Syracuse’s Judah Mintz and Bryant’s Doug Edert earned technical fouls and were ejected with 7:35 on the clock after Mintz was called for a charge. The two exchanged contact, and subsequently, Bryant’s Tyler Breisford and Kvonn Cramer were ejected for leaving the bench. Both teams had bench personnel ejected for going on the court.
SECOND HALF SURGES
Syracuse jumped back into the game with eight unanswered points after the Bulldogs opened the second with a basket. Guard Symir Torrence and Edwards completed 3-point plays after getting fouled on made shots in the lane. Edwards added a rebound basket to narrow the gap to 42-37 in Bryant’s favor.
The Bulldogs pushed the margin back up to 13, 52-39, by scoring 10 of the next 12 points. Miles Latimer and Gross-Bullock connected on consecutive 3-pointers to fuel the Bryant charge.
Taylor asserted himself after the intermission, scoring 16 of his game-high 25 during the period. His two free throws and a jumper shaved the Bryant margin to four, 56-52, with 7:28 left. Taylor’s 3-pointer with 4:16 on the clock had the Orange trailing, 60-59. Edwards then rebounded a Gross-Bullock missed free throw and scored on a put-back at the other end, providing Syracuse with its first lead at 61-60.
Bryant scored five straight points, including three on free throws, to move ahead, 65-61. Syracuse responded with a jumper and a 3-pointer from Chris Bell that provided the Orange a 66-65 margin with 1:30 to play in regulation. The see-saw battle continued with Antwan Walker making two free throws at 1:10, only to be answered by three foul shots from Taylor that lifted Syracuse back on top, 69-67.Earl Timberlake made two from the foul line with 39 ticks on the clock and Gross-Bullock gave Bryant the lead again with a steal and layup.
Taylor, who ended up 10-of-13 from the line, made one more, and after Gross-Bullock misfired on two free throws, Girard was fouled by Timberlake. Girard converted both but Gross-Bullock had one big basket left in him.
Syracuse led Bryant in second chance points (20-8), bench points (34-11), and rebounds (43-36).
Edwards became the first Syracuse player with a 20-board performance since Tyler Roberson had 20 on Jan. 18, 2016 at Duke.
John Bol Ajak posted career-best efforts in rebounds (6), assists (4) and minutes played (27).
Bell contributed a collegiate-high 14 points.
Syracuse will be back in action on Tuesday, Nov. 29, as it travels to Urbana-Champaign, Ill. to face Illinois in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. and the game will air live on ESPN.