Syracuse looks to keep up momentum vs. Notre Dame

·2 min read

Two weeks ago, Syracuse experienced a low point offensively when it shot 30 percent and absorbed a 17-point loss at Clemson.

The Orange have bounced back with two decent performances and are seeking a third straight victory Saturday afternoon when they host Notre Dame.

Syracuse (12-6, 6-5 ACC) was hoping to be going for that third straight on Wednesday, but its visit to Louisville was postponed hours before the opening tip. It was the fifth game this season Syracuse had postponed, and the Orange have yet to win in games following postponements, falling at Pittsburgh on Jan. 6 after consecutive postponements against Notre Dame and Wake Forest in December plus North Carolina on Jan. 2 (later rescheduled) and versus Clemson after the first postponement against Louisville on Feb. 3.

"It's the year that we're in," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "It's difficult, but you have to expect things like this to happen in times like these and just be ready to deal with it."

Syracuse's two worst offensive showings in ACC games are in contests immediately following postponements. The Orange shot 37 percent vs. Pitt and then were even worse at Clemson and enter Saturday coming off wins against North Carolina State and Boston College in games where they shot 46.7 and 48.1 percent respectively.

In last Saturday's win over Boston College, Joe Girard led five players in double figures with 16 points and the Orange are 6-1 when Girard gets at least 15.

"We have to get great movement, we have to get great shots and we have to knock down some shots to be successful," Boeheim said. "These guys are doing everything they can to get there, but we have to play a lot better down the stretch than we did today to be able to win."

Notre Dame (9-10, 6-7) has won two straight for the second time this season and four of five since Jan. 27. The Fighting Irish are averaging 81.4 points during their last five games with the only loss being a two-point setback at Georgia Tech two weeks ago when they blew a 17-point lead.

The Fighting Irish were scheduled to host Clemson on Wednesday before getting postponed, and it was the sixth game they had cancelled or postponed. On Sunday, Nikola Djogo scored a season-high 18 points in a 71-61 victory over Miami.

Sunday was among the better defensive showings for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame allowed 32.4 percent shooting and allowed under 65 points for the fourth time.

"It was good for us to have to dig in and do a lot of tough stuff," Notre Dame's Nate Laszewski said. "It helps us a lot going forward."

Syracuse is led by top scorer Alan Griffin at 15.8 points per game. Laszewski leads Notre Dame with 15.2.

--Field Level Media