Syracuse men's basketball fails to contain No. 15 Notre Dame in road loss

Beachem records 30 points to lead Fighting Irish past the Orange in South Bend

SOUTH BEND, IN. — After losing its first ACC game earlier this week to Florida State, Notre Dame captured a big conference win against Syracuse in front of its home crowd on Saturday afternoon. 

The No. 15 Fighting Irish (17-3, 6-1 ACC) defeated the Syracuse Orange (11-9, 3-4 ACC), 84-66, at the Joyce Center’s Purcell Pavilion. The last time Notre Dame beat Syracuse was exactly five years ago, on January 21, 2012, when the Orange were the top ranked team in the country.

Syracuse forward Tyler Lydon during the Orange's loss at Notre Dame on Saturday.

The two teams had similar numbers on paper. Syracuse shot field goals at 41 percent and Notre Dame at 49 percent, while each team recorded 11 turnovers. But one thing’s for sure: the Irish won the fight by powering through Syracuse’s 2-3 zone.

Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim was noticeably frustrated with his team following the game.

“We can’t win with three guys. We have to have more guys,” Boeheim said. “I can’t even describe how disappointed I am in some of the guys out there.”

The Orange has had more success on defense at home, recording wins over Pittsburgh and Miami earlier this month. But, Syracuse has not won a game away from the Carrier Dome this season.

“If you can play defense at home there’s no reason you can’t play on the road,” Boeheim said. “The courts are the same, we just are not.” 

The real story of the game was Notre Dame senior forward V.J. Beachem, who scored a career-high 30 points on Saturday. His previous career-high was 22.

Beachem is now 13 points away from becoming the 60th player in Notre Dame history to score 1,000 points in his career.

“[Beachem’s] a tremendous shooter and we just didn’t get to him,” Boeheim said.

The Syracuse zone couldn’t stop Beachem, who was 12-for-22 from the field and 6-for-10 from behind the arc. He also grabbed seven rebounds in his 38 minutes on the floor.

“When we can get him [Beachem] flowing like that, it’s a confidence giver to his teammates,” Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey said.

Brey was also proud of the way his team attacked Syracuse’s zone defense.

“One of the things we didn’t want to do is stand with the ball over our head against their zone,” Brey said. “They do it to a lot of people, but I thought we all drove it.”

Beachem wasn’t the only member of the Irish that contributed to the big win. Junior guard Matt Farrell had 15 points and 9 assists.

“He’s really, I think, one of the most improved players I’ve seen in this league,” Boeheim said of Farrell.

Farrell is making a case to be called the most improved player in the nation. Last season, Farrell averaged just 2.6 points per game. This year, he has raised that total to 14.1.

As for the Orange, sophomore forward Tyler Lydon recorded a double-double, finishing with 24 points while grabbing 10 rebounds. Guards Tyus Battle and Andrew White III added 17 and 16 points, respectively.  The other five Syracuse players who saw game action combined for just nine points.

The Orange will return to action at home against Wake Forest on Tuesday. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. at the Carrier Dome.

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