Joseph Girard III shook off a poor shooting performance but drained two crucial 3-pointers down the stretch to help Syracuse post a come-from-behind, 85-84 home victory over pesky Bryant.
Buddy Boeheim scored 23 points and Marek Dolezaj contributed 20 points, nine assists and five steals for the Orange, who returned to practice on Thanksgiving after being on lockdown since Nov. 15 when coach Jim Boeheim announced he’d tested positive for the coronavirus.
Chris Childs scored 18 points and Michael Green III added 15 points and seven assists for Bryant, which welcomed nine new players to its roster.
Girard started the contest 0 for 11 from the field but drained a straight-away 3-pointer with six minutes remaining to provide Syracuse with its first lead at 75-73.
The sophomore followed with another shot from the same spot with 2:16 left to provide an 83-82 edge that the Orange didn’t relinquish, although Peter Kiss and Michael Green III missed tough jumpers in the closing seconds for the Bulldogs.
Kiss hit his second 3-pointer of the half four minutes in to give Bryant a 63-50 lead before Syracuse rallied.
The Orange looked like a team that hadn’t played in a while in the first half. They shot just 29.5 percent in the first half (13 of 44), including 6 of 22 from beyond the arc.