Syracuse Pummels San Diego State in the Round of 64

That’s right! The Syracuse Orange are back in business in the NCAA Tournament, as the program pummeled the San Diego State Aztecs by a score of 78-62 in the round of 64. The win for the Orange marks the 3rd time since 2016 in which the school advanced to the round of 32 or further. Of course, the Orange still have a long way to go before they reach the promised land, but it’s a good start to what’s been an exciting tournament. Considering we’re in the late stages of the season, it’s fair that we give you a recap. Without further ado, let’s waste no time and break down how it all happened.

Buddy Boeheim Dominates For the Orange

Another game, another great performance by Buddy Boeheim. The coach’s son struck yet again, as Boeheim recorded an impressive 30 points against the Aztecs. The junior guard went 11-for-15 (73.3%) on field goals and 7-for-10 (70%) on three pointers in route to Syracuse’s victory vs San Diego State. Boeheim’s breakout night comes as somewhat expected, as he has now tallied 27 points or more in his last three games.

When asked about Buddy Boeheim’s contributions, his father and Orange head coach Jim Boeheim had this to say about him: “He studies the game. He’s always studied the game. He understands the game. And his teammates really are looking for him and helping him. And when they come on him, he’s getting the ball back to guys to get their shots up. But I don’t talk to Buddy. He knows what he should do, where he should be. I’ve talked to him all his life. I don’t need to talk to him anymore.”

San Diego State’s Offensive Struggles

Although Buddy Boeheim put up stellar offensive contributions, it was ultimately the Syracuse defense that won the game for the program. For starters, the Orange managed to hold the Aztecs scoreless for nearly ten minutes of play in the early stages of the game. The Syracuse offense was quick to capitalize on this opportunity, going on an 18-0 run to close out the first half. The beginning of the second half was something of the same, as the Aztec offense could not establish a comeback bid due to their lackluster offense play.

With eight minutes left to go in regulation, the Orange tallied their biggest lead of the night with a score of 59-33. The Aztecs did manage to outscore the Orange 29-to-19 to end out the game, but their efforts proved to be too little too late.

Overall Stats for San Diego State

Sure, the offense was not pretty for the Aztecs, but someone had to contribute to those 62 points. To no one’s surprise, Matt Mitchell was the best player on the court for SDSU, tallying 17 points on the night. In his last game in the Aztecs uniform, the senior forward went 8-for-19 (42%) on field goals and 5-for-13 (38.4%) from three point land. Jordan Schakel produced an impressive performance as well, matching Mitchell’s 17 points for San Diego State. Schakel went 6-for-16 (37.7%) on field goals and 5-for-13 (38.5%) on three pointers.

As an entire team, SDSU went 24-for-67 (35.8%) on field goals, 11-for-40 (27.5%) on three pointers, and a lowly 3-for-7 (42.9%) on free throws. The Aztecs also tallied 33 rebounds, 16 assists, and 6 steals in their game against the Orange.

Overall Stats for Syracuse

Of course we’ve already gone over Buddy Boeheim’s valiant contributions, but there were a few other players on the Orange that established an impressive night. For starters, Joseph Giard III produced an all around strong performance with 12 points, 7 assists, and 6 rebounds against the Aztecs. Big man Marek Dolezaj finished with similar numbers on the night, as the senior forward tallied 11 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds.

Team-wise, Syracuse had the edge on SDSU in scoring, going 26-for-47 (55.3%) on field goals, 15-for-27 (55.6%) from downtown, and 11-for-13 (84.6%) from the line.

What’s Next for the Orange?

With San Diego State out of the way, it’s on to the round of 32 for Syracuse. The Orange will face a very familiar foe in West Virginia on Sunday, as the two schools matched up against each other multiple times during their days in the Big East. It’s safe to say times have changed since then, but both schools still remain as fierce competitors in college basketball. The Mountaineers showed that they were no joke in the round of 64, as the program destroyed Morehead State by a score of 84-67. It’s safe to say that West Virginia will be a step up from San Diego State, especially considering that the mountaineers are a more battle tested team. However, if Syracuse can play another great game both offensively and defensively, then they should have a chance at advancing to the sweet 16.

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