Colgate, who was just 2-2 heading into today’s game, took down Syracuse by scoring 100 points. Typically, teams cannot achieve 100 against the heralded Syracuse defense. Syracuse only allowed 60 and 63 in their first two games. Yet today, Colgate shocks Syracuse with an upset victory.
Colgate Shocks Syracuse 100-85
Before this game, the Raiders who made the tournament last season had lost to Cornell and NC State and only had one win over a division-one opponent, but today was a different story.
Critical Events of the Game
Early in the game, it looked like the Raiders were going to get blown out! They were down 23-8 with 11:42 left in the first half. Colgate went on an 11-0 run to cut the lead down to four at 23-19. This run was vital to getting them back into the game. Next, Syracuse went on a 7-0 run of their own, extending their lead to eleven. Despite this early deficit, the Raiders did not give up. They dominated the last eight minutes of the half, outscoring the Orange 27-13 to take the lead 46-43. This extended run gave the Raiders crucial momentum heading into the break.
In the second half, Syracuse came out swinging, taking the lead back for a short time. Then Ferguson took over; he scored the following six points to put the Raiders up five with 17:35 left. By the under 12 media timeout, Colgate had an eight-point lead 63-55. Colgate was able to maintain this lead despite multiple comeback attempts from the Orange. Cole Swider hit two three throws to cut the lead to five with 3:29 left. Five was as close as the Orange would get. Colgate pulled away with a 7-0 run to lead by ten 91-81 with 2:11 left; this run would put the game away. Colgate shocks Syracuse 100-85 using 18 three-pointers to help stagger the Orange in the Carrier Dome. The Raiders had three players who hit at least three from deep. Colgate outrebounded Syracuse by ten in today’s game. Jack Ferguson had 25 points for Colgate in the victory.
What does this mean for Syracuse?
The Orange started the year with two convincing wins over Lafayette and Drexel. They have high expectations for this season because they have Buddy Boeheim, Jimmy Boeheim, and Joseph Girard III. These three players are all ACC caliber, yet they were beaten by Jack Ferguson and the Raiders today. As a result, this loss is a surprising setback for Orange. They have an incredibly challenging schedule coming up with the Battle for Atlantis tournament. This event includes Baylor, VCU, Arizona State, Michigan State, Uconn, Loyola, and Auburn. This tournament is an actual test to figure out where this team is at this point in the season. They need a few victories here to demonstrate to the committee that they are a good team if they want a better resume for the NCAA tournament. After Atlantis, their schedule gets even more challenging when they play Villanova. If Syracuse wants to compete with these high-powered opponents, they must improve their rebounding. The Orange have the tools to recover, but they must come together quickly and turn things around.
What does this win mean for Colgate?
For the Raiders, this win is a program-defining victory. Colgate made the tournament last year but bowed out to Arkansas in the first round. This is a famous school because they have the same name as a toothpaste brand, and they just beat a power-five opponent. This victory will help Colgate’s resume for the tournament immensely. The Raiders have three more good tests on their schedule against Pittsburgh, St. Johns, and Vermont. Grabbing two wins here would afford them with a resume that might be enough for an at-large bid. Since the Raiders are in the Patriot League, they must ensure they do not lose to teams they are not supposed to once conference play begins. If they can avoid any missteps, this team is a threat to pull off a few upsets in March.
I look forward to watching the rest of their season and hope to pull off some more fireworks. An excellent performance from the Raiders will give them momentum for their season. For Syracuse, hopefully, they can recover and take advantage of their immense talent this year.
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