SYRACUSE, NY (AP) – Elijah Hughes had 23 points, Joe Girard III had 20 points and seven assists, and Syracuse outlasted a stubborn Oakland team 74-62 on Wednesday night.
Buddy Boeheim chipped in with 14 for the Orange (6-5, 1-1 ACC), who won for just the second time in six games. Bourama Sidibe had 13 rebounds for Syracuse, three below his career high.
Brad Brechting scored 20 points to lead the Golden Grizzlies (5-7), who were playing the final game of a six-game road trip. Xavier Hill-Mais added 16.
The Orange missed their first five field goal attempts and didn’t connect until Girard hit a 3-pointer with nearly four minutes gone. The Orange hit 41% from the field but just 11 of 34 from beyond the arc.
The Golden Grizzlies hit 43% from the field but just 22 percent from three, going 4 for 18. Oakland was strong inside, outscoring the Orange 30-20 in the paint.
The Orange held a 43-35 lead at the half and built an 11-point lead, 55-44, on a slam by Marek Dolezaj with less than 14 minutes to go. The Golden Grizzlies narrowed the margin to 55-51 on a bank shot by Hill-Mais with 11:24 remainng but the Orange slowly increased their margin the rest of the way. A lay-in by Sidibe with 3:34 to go gave the Orange a 70-60 lead.
The Golden Grizzlies were held without a field goal the final 6:37 of the game.
Oakland: The Golden Grizzlies proved a stern test for the Orange, dominating inside and never allowing the Orange to pull away. Oakland should feel confident going into Saturday’s matchup against Fairfield.
Syracuse: Games like these used to be cakewalks for Syracuse, but not this year. Every game is going to be a challenge.
The Golden Grizzlies return home for a Saturday matchup against Fairfield.
The Orange host North Florida on Saturday in the middle game of a three-game home stand.