Paradise Island, Bahamas — What a difference a day makes.
Syracuse, which was treated like the turkey in a first-round loss to Virginia Commonwealth in the Battle 4 Atlantis, enjoyed themselves offensively Thursday in a 92-84 win over Arizona State here at Imperial Arena.
Syracuse, which scored just 55 points and turned the ball over 16 times in the loss to VCU, scored 48 first half points against Arizona State.
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Syracuse led 48-30 at halftime and held on for the win, including a breathtaking final few minutes as the Sun Devils pressed and fired 3-pointers. Syracuse improved to 3-2 this season and advances to Friday’s fifth-place game against Auburn. Game time is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Syracuse center Jesse Edwards had the biggest turnaround from Wednesday to Thursday.
Edwards, who only played 15 minutes against VCU due to a foul issue, had his career-best game against Arizona State. The 6-foot-11 junior finished with a career-high 21 points on 8-for-10 shooting to go along with his eight rebounds and two blocked shots.
Then there was Cole Swider. The 6-foot-9 forward had missed his last 14 three before the game, including a 0-for-7 performance in the loss to VCU. But he scored 19 points on a 4-on-5 3-point shot. He also gobbled up 11 rebounds.
Buddy Boeheim led Syracuse in scoring with 23 points.
The Orange reached their lead of 18 points at halftime thanks to 53% of shots on the basket. Buddy Boeheim spurred Syracuse’s offensive explosion with 17 first-half points on 6-for-10 shooting. But Boeheim had help as Syracuse shot 5-for-11 from 3-point range in the first half. -time.
Syracuse ended the half on an 18-2 run. The Orange held Arizona State to just one field goal in the final seven minutes of halftime.
Arizona State made four of its first eight 3-point attempts but didn’t make three more for the rest of the half. The Sun Devils have missed their last eight shots from beyond the arc.
Arizona State played without second 6-8 Marcus Bagler, who did not travel with the team to the Bahamas. Bagley stayed home to help recover from a recent knee injury. Bagley had averaged 10 points and four rebounds in the Sun Devils’ first three games of the season.
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