(WSYR-TV) — Coming off a loss to Colgate, Syracuse’s first since 1962, the Orange looked to rebound in the Bahamas and the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament.
The good news is the defense played better. The bad news is it still came in a 67-55 loss to Virginia Commonwealth University.
Syracuse, who had won the 2015 Battle 4 Atlantis, shot 5-23 from behind the arc and only 29% from the floor.
The first half was a tough one for both Syracuse and VCU. The teams shot a combined 15-60 and only made five three-pointers. Syracuse used a 9-2 run in the final four minutes of the half to give themselves a 27-23 lead into the break.
VCU turned things around in the second half, starting out with a 9-2 run of their own. The Rams’ press caused some problems early in the half, forcing turnovers and causing the Orange to not fight through the defense and take longer to setup their offense. Instead of getting their offense called earlier in the shot clock, SU routinely didn’t start running their offense until half of the shot clock had run out.
While this game was never out of hand, VCU did their job to keep some distance from SU. The Rams shot 50% from three in the second half and scored 22-of-their-30 points in the paint during that stretch too.
The nail in Syracuse’s coffin came in with just under two minutes remaining. VCU’s Levi Stockard III threw and alley-oop to Hason Ward and then immediately followed that up with a dunk of his own to push the lead to 65-55.
Buddy and Jimmy Boeheim combined for 37 points. Young brother Buddy leading the way with 20. Cole Swider continued his struggles to start the season, only managing 6 points on 2-14 shooting – which included 0-7 from three.
Syracuse, 2-2, are losers of two straight but will get a chance to get back on track Thursday when they take on the loser of Arizona State-Baylor at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN2 or ESPNU.