Fight to the finish- Syracuse outlasts Iona 71-62 after Battle's career best
Syracuse Basketball is 2-0 on the season after outlasting Iona 71-62 in a game it led for the final 28 minutes.
Iona, the two-time defending MAAC Champion came into the game with a squad laden with upperclassmen against the more talented but much younger Orange.
Youth was served tonight.
Sophomore Tyus Battle scored a Syracuse career high 28 points on 11-19 shooting to vault the Orange past the upset minded Gaels.
In a week that's already seen Liberty upset Wake Forest 79-66 and Montana beat Pittsburgh 83-78, any victory is a good one especially over a probable league champion.
Frank Howard scored 15 points while playing all 40 minutes for the first time in his career, Oshae Brissett chipped in with 12.
Syracuse's lead was cut to just a couple at 56-54 before a 7-0 spurt put it away. The Orange used its size to outrebound Iona 41-29 with Paschal Chukwu leading the way with 10 boards and Marek Dolezaj providing a spark with 7 points and 6 rebounds.
The Orange is off until Saturday, when it begins the HoopHall Classic. Syracuse will host Texas Southern on Satuday, Oakland on Monday and Toledo on Wednesday.
That's when things get real, fast.
That's not to say a team like Oakland won't be a stiff test, because they will. But after a November 22nd meeting with Toledo Syracuse hosts Maryland, plays Kansas in Miami and UConn at Madison Square Garden.
For a team that's young and will continue to grow, every game before that point and the beginning of ACC play will be crucial.