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RECAP: Buddy Boeheim carries Syracuse past San Diego State

Mar 19, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Syracuse Orange center Jesse Edwards (14) is defended by San Diego State Aztecs forward Nathan Mensah (31) during the first round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

Buddy Boeheim poured in 30 points, Syracuse’s 2-3 zone was dominant, and the 11th-seeded Orange roared past No. 6 San Diego State 78-62 in the opening round of the Midwest Regional in Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis on Friday.

Boeheim put on a brilliant shooting performance, hitting 11 of 15 from the field, including 7 of 10 from 3-point range. He single-handedly kept Syracuse in the game early, scoring 16 consecutive points for his team, before others chipped in during a 20-0 run that spanned halftime.

Joseph Girard III had 10 of his 12 points during that streak for Syracuse (17-9), which will play either No. 3 West Virginia or No. 14 Morehead State on Sunday.

The Aztecs (23-5) went 10:23 without a point as Syracuse turned an 18-14 deficit into a 34-18 lead on the first possession of the second half.

San Diego State began to do a better job getting inside the Syracuse zone, cutting the lead to 40-29. Boeheim then answered with consecutive 3-pointers to spark an 8-0 run that effectively knocked out the Aztecs. For good measure, Boeheim even hit a 30-footer to beat the shot clock with 6:25 left.

Jordan Schakel and Matt Mitchell, the Mountain West Player of the Year, each scored 17 to lead San Diego State. Mitchell was 1 of 9 from 3-point range.

The Aztecs made seven 3-pointers in the final 6:04, but it was far too little, too late. They finished 11 of 40 from behind the arc and shot 35.8 percent (24 of 67) from the field.

After Marek Dolezaj scored Syracuse’s first three points, Boeheim scored the team’s next 16, including a four-point play after San Diego State went up 15-10. His pull-up jumper off the dribble gave the Orange a 19-18 lead at the 8:48 mark.

Neither team scored for nearly four minutes until Syracuse’s Robert Braswell hit a corner 3. Girard followed with a trey on the next possession and later converted the Orange’s second four-point play of the half for a 29-18 lead with 2:56 to go.

Girard drilled another 3-ball with 22 seconds left before halftime for a 32-18 lead. The Aztecs missed 12 consecutive shots to end the half.

–Field Level Media