Howard atones for mistake to lift Syracuse
Syracuse point guard Frank Howard atoned for a costly turnover by sinking a clutch 3-point shot that propelled the Orange to an 81-74 victory over Buffalo on Tuesday night before 17,335 fans at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.
Howard’s turnover on an inbounds pass helped the Bulls grab a 68-67 lead. However, Howard drilled a 3-pointer, Tyus Battle made a pair of free throws and Howard drove for a basket to give Syracuse a 74-68 advantage with 1:44 left.
Forward Oshae Brissett shot 16 of 16 from the foul line and led all scorers with 25 points for the Orange (10-1). Howard had 18 points, and Battle notched 13.
Syracuse sank 17 of 19 free throws in the final eight minutes.
Forward Nick Perkins paced the Bulls (7-4) with 18 points, while guard CJ Massinburg had 14 points and team-high eight rebounds. Wes Clark scored 15 points and handed out six assists in his first game for the Bulls.
Syracuse led 36-27 at the half, but guard Jeremy Harris’ 3-pointer and Massinburg’s three free throws after getting fouled on a 3-point attempt ignited a 22-8 run that gave the Bulls a 53-52 lead with about nine minutes remaining. With the score tied at 62, Brissett drove and completed a three-point play and Marek Dolezaj made a difficult inside shot along the baseline to boost Syracuse’s lead to 67-62.
The Bulls roared back to take a 68-67 lead on Massinburg’s dunk and Clark’s layup off back-to-back Syracuse turnovers, including the one by Howard, his fifth turnover of the game.
Orange freshman forward Matthew Moyer nearly notched a double-double in the first half (10 points, eight rebounds), while Clark shot 3-for-5 from beyond the arc before the break to keep the Bulls close. Moyer finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.
Clark, a 6-foot guard, played in his first game for Buffalo since being dismissed from Missouri last February for not meeting academic requirements. Clark played for Bulls coach Nate Oats at Romulus High School in Detroit.