December 20, 2017 / 3:02 AM / 2 months ago

Preview: Buffalo at Syracuse

Only a neutral-court loss to national power Kansas has kept Syracuse from a perfect record to this point. The surprising Orange aim for a fourth straight win Tuesday when they host Buffalo in non-league action.

The Orange have not posted a high number of quality victories to this point in the season, but they have defeated Maryland, Connecticut and, most recently, Georgetown. They trailed the Hoyas by 13 points in the second half before rallying to win 86-79 in overtime in Saturday’s contest. Tyus Battle registered 29 points and Oshae Brissett added 25 points and 14 rebounds, while Frank Howard scored 19 in one of his best efforts of the season. Syracuse’s top scorers may have another big game against a Buffalo squad that ranks tied for 265th in the country in points allowed (76.5).

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ACC Network Extra

ABOUT BUFFALO (7-3): Buffalo took on Cincinnati early in the season and gave the Bearcats - currently sitting at 9-2 - all they could handle in a 73-67 defeat. C.J. Massinburg had 29 points against Cincinnati and went for 23 in Saturday’s 16-point win over Robert Morris - the team’s third straight victory. Massinburg, who averages 20 points and 7.8 rebounds, enters this one seeking his fourth straight double-double and fifth this season.

ABOUT SYRACUSE (9-1): The Orange entered Saturday’s game against Georgetown shooting under 30 percent from beyond the arc, but a big key to their win was making 10-of-23 from 3-point range against their former Big East rival. “The 3-point line, usually it works the other way against us, but today the 3-point line worked for us, which is highly unusual,” coach Jim Boeheim told reporters after Battle made six 3-pointers and Brissett knocked down four of his own. Battle is averaging 21.5 points, Howard pitches in 15.1 points and Brissett averages 14.7 points and 9.7 rebounds but is shooting only 34.9 percent, including 28.9 percent from behind the arc.

TIP-INS

1. Buffalo has scored at least 75 points in each of its victories.

2. Battle (37.7 percent) is the only Syracuse player who shoots better than 28.9 percent from 3-point range.

3. Eight Syracuse players average at least one steal per game. The Orange rank 20th in the nation in steals (9.1).

PREDICTION: Syracuse 80, Buffalo 66

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