Buffalo hoping for a 2018 repeat at Syracuse

NCAA

Syracuse will look to regain control of the series when Buffalo travels two hours down Interstate 90 for Saturday’s game at Syracuse, N.Y.

Orange coach Jim Boeheim undoubtedly remembers the last time he saw the Bulls.

Two years ago, 14th-ranked Buffalo posted a 71-59 victory at unranked Syracuse, for their first win in the series since 1963. Even with an ACC game with Notre Dame next on the docket, the Orange certainly won’t be looking past their in-state foe.

Syracuse (5-1) is coming off a 62-56 win over Northeastern on Wednesday and has won two straight, including an impressive 101-63 victory at Boston College to open the ACC slate.

On Wednesday, Quincy Guerrier had 18 points and a career-high 16 rebounds for his third double-double of the season and Joseph Girard III scored a 21 points and added a career-best six steals.

Syracuse couldn’t get rid of the outmanned Huskies all night, until a cutback from Marek Dolezaj provided a four-point lead and Girard converted a three-point play off a steal to pretty much seal the outcome with about two minutes left.

“Obviously, it wasn’t the way that we wanted to (play),” Girard said. “College basketball, Division I basketball, a win is a win. We’re proud of that, but at the same time, we know we have to do better on both ends of the floor.”

Guerrier leads the team in scoring (16.5) and rebounds (9.8). Illinois transfer Alan Griffin follows with 15.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.

Buffalo (3-2) put forth its most complete performance of the season in Tuesday’s 90-62 victory over the Miami RedHawks as the Bulls evened their Mid-American Conference record at 1-1.

Jeenathan Williams scored 21 points to become the fastest Bulls player to score 100 points on the season since 1996-97.

“It started tonight for us on the defensive end and when we defend like that, we know the offense will come,” said assistant coach Jamie Quarles. “I thought we got fantastic energy from the bench and it was great to see everyone contribute tonight.”

Williams leads the team in scoring (20.0) and rebounds (8.6) and is tied for second in assists (3.2). Jayvon Graves averages 16.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.6 assists; Ronaldo Segu contributes 13.6 points per game. None is over 6-foot-5.

Assistant coach Angres Thorpe will serve as the head man for the Bulls as Jim Whitesell is in a 14-day quarantine after coming intoclose contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

The Orange will have to pay attention to their defensive assignments, especially early on, as the Bulls have shot at least 60 percent in the first half of their past two games.

–Field Level Media

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