Battle, Thorpe send Syracuse past Texas Southern
Guards Tyus Battle and Geno Thorpe sparked a decisive run to bridge the first and second half to lift Syracuse to an 80-67 win over Texas Southern in a Hoophall Miami Invitational game Saturday night at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y.
Battle led all scorers with 21 points. Thorpe added 13, and Frank Howard had 12 points and eight assists for the Orange (3-0), who outscored the Tigers 32-8 during their lopsided run.
Syracuse will also play Oakland and Toledo at home in the Hoophall Miami Invitational before facing Kansas in the final game Dec. 2 in Miami.
Battle, who sat out the final 9:50 of the first half with two fouls, scored nine of Syracuse’s first 11 points of the second. The Orange scored the first 15 points of the half to build a 53-30 advantage.
After the Tigers (0-4) pulled within 17 points, Battle spun and drove to the basket for a thunderous dunk and then sank a 3-pointer from the key to boost the lead back to 60-41.
Texas Southern, a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, went on a 14-5 run to slice Syracuse’s lead to 67-55, but center Bourama Sidibe’s dunk and Howard’s 3-pointer gave the Orange a 72-55 cushion.
Thorpe replaced Battle, the Orange’s leading scorer, in the first half and scored 13 points as Syracuse outscored Texas Southern 20-12 during that stretch to take a 38-30 halftime lead.
Guard Donte Clark led the Tigers with 20 points, and center Trayvon Reed had 12 points and eight rebounds.
After a back-and-forth first half that included five ties, Thorpe sparked a 9-2 run with a runner in the paint and a pair of 3-pointers that gave Syracuse a 30-24 lead.
Clark scored 14 points in the first half for the Tigers, who shot 45.5 percent (10-for-22) against a Syracuse zone defense that had limited its first two opponents to a combined 31.3 percent shooting.