A look at the plays that led to Syracuse’s upset of No. 1 Duke

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Comments Published on January 14, 2019 at 10:05 pm Contact Billy: wmheyen@syr.edu | @Wheyen3center_img Syracuse (12-5, 3-1 Atlantic Coast) entered Monday’s game at No. 1 Duke (14-2, 3-1) as 17-point underdogs, per Vegas Insider. The Orange left Cameron Indoor Stadium as victors in overtime, though, 95-91. SU was led by 32 points from Tyus Battle, and Paschal Chukwu had his biggest game of the season with 10 points and 18 rebounds.Here’s a look at some of the plays that made it happen.Marek Dolezaj takes a charge on Zion WilliamsonSyracuse’s starting center, Marek Dolezaj, is listed as 180 pounds. Zion Williamson, one of Duke’s starting forwards, is listed at 285 pounds. But midway through the first half, with Dolezaj already playing with two fouls and all of SU’s rotation bigs in foul trouble, Williamson ran the court on a fastbreak right at Dolezaj.The Slovakian sophomore slid his feet to get into position and beat Williamson to the spot. The freshman phenom charged right through him, and the referee immediately called a charge. Dolezaj stayed on the ground and was subbed out of the game, although he did return later. The broadcast showed Williamson making no complaints and just heading back on defense.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textElijah Hughes hits a 75-plus foot heave at halftime buzzerSyracuse had worked its way back from an early 14-2 deficit to hang with the Blue Devils for most of the first half. But it looked as if the Orange would head into the halftime break down four.That’s when Elijah Hughes bobbled the inbound pass toward the sideline, and could’ve chosen to just hold it as the buzzer sounded. Instead, he heaved the ball from near the opposite 3-point line. It went as high as the suspended scoreboard in Cameron Indoor Stadium but stayed to the right of it, eventually dropping through the basket. Another 3 for Hughes, who had 18 points in the first half, and SU instead trailed by just a point at the half.Tyus Battle stepback jumper for the leadSyracuse set screens all night long for Tyus Battle in an effort to get RJ Barrett to switch off of him for a lesser defender. On this play, with the Orange down one, Battle catches the ball on the left wing, a spot he frequently attacks from. Paschal Chukwu comes to set a screen toward the center of the floor.The Orange got the switch they wanted: Duke’s Jack White now defended Battle. The SU junior took advantage with a few dribbles before stepping back from deep on the left wing. He drained it as he fell down toward the sideline, and the Orange led by a point.Zion Williamson made one of two free throws inside 15 seconds to tie the game, and a last-second Battle shot was no good, so the game headed to overtime.Elijah Hughes layup to begin overtimeElijah Hughes hadn’t scored since his heave at the end of the first half. But on the tip-off to begin the extra period, he aligned near midcourt, next to Duke’s Alex O’Connell. When Oshae Brissett tipped the ball to his left, O’Connell broke, as he expected a tip toward the Duke offensive basket.Instead, Hughes pounced right away to snatch the ball and break in for a lefty layup for two to get the Orange on the overtime scoreboard four seconds in.Tyus Battle’s jumper gives SU the lead againThis time, the Orange took it one step further on attempting to get a weaker defender on Tyus Battle. Jack White, who Battle hit the stepback over near the end of regulation, was already swapped onto the SU guard. But Paschal Chukwu still came to set a screen, and Duke center Marques Bolden became the new man guarding Battle.Again, Battle went to his patented stepback. This time, he almost made it behind the arc but his right foot remained on the 3-point line. And he swished over a late-to-close Bolden to give SU the lead back.Frank Howard steal and bucketAlex O’Connell, who had made big play after big play for Duke, telegraphed a pass with about two minutes to go in overtime. He dribbled toward Blue Devils’ star RJ Barrett with Frank Howard watching from his zone at the top-right of SU’s defense. And as O’Connell went to pass in the direction he was dribbling and looking, Howard pounced.The SU senior knocked the ball down the court, ran onto it and laid it in for two of his season-high 16 points. SU wouldn’t trail again.Paschal Chukwu dunks to ice itFrank Howard and Paschal Chukwu have tried to connect on alley-oop dunks many times this season, with it only succeeding on a few occasions. But with under a minute to go Monday, Howard drove and flung up what looked to be a floater, not a pass.It was off line, but Chukwu was there to grab the ball in midair and dunk it. It gave him his ninth and 10th points of the game to go along with 18 rebounds in a season-best performance for the 7-foot-2 center. He grabbed his final rebound at the other end after a few missed Duke shots to prevent second-chance points and seal the upset win.last_img read more