Brissett the difference in Syracuse win over Buffalo

Syracuse finished shooting 50 percent from the field

Four days after Syracuse's emotional win over former Big East rival Georgetown, the Orange welcomed a tough task from the University of Buffalo, scrapping a 81-74 win on Tuesday.

The Orange found it difficult to break away from the western New York school, who wanted to build on its three-game winning streak. The Bulls remained within striking distance the entire game, taking the lead multiple times in the game.

Freshman forward Matthew Moyer, who has found his shooting touch in recent games, grabbed early boards and baskets. He proved to be such a threat at the glass that the Bills defence forced him to shoot mid-range jump shots.

"They didn't guard Matt, and Matt took advantage of that in the first half," Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said after the game.

One difference early on was the reliance on center Paschal Chukwu. With Bourama Sidibe out of the game, Chukwu played a career-high 37 minutes, grabbing five points. When Chukwu wasn't in the middle of the 2-3 zone, freshman forward Marek Dolezaj took his place. This found success against Georgetown, so Dolezaj played his role for a much shorter role of the game.

There was also increased minutes for Howard Washington. The alternate replacement to Howard and Battle, Washington played eight minutes and recorded two minutes. The increased minutes came as a result of Howard reaching foul trouble during the first half, collecting three fouls. However, he avoided fouling out in his remaining time on the court.

The largest contributor of the game was freshman forward Oshae Brissett. He continued on his dominance from the final 25 minutes of the Georgetown game, grabbing 25 points and eight rebounds. While he struggled from the field, Brissett was perfect from the free throw line, making all 16 of his shots. This was a season-high for Brissett and the most recorded by a SU player since 2009.

Brissett played the role usually of Tyus Battle, who has played the role of hero late in games so far this season. Buffalo did a really good job closing them down, Boeheim said after the game. 

"Buffalo relaly played well. I thought they attacked our defense well. They made some big shots. Defensively, they were really good," Boeheim said.

Battle, the sophomore guard, finished with 13 points after 40 minutes.

Syracuse play St. Bonaventure on Dec. 22 at 7 p.m. in the Carrier Dome.

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