Student Reporting Archive

Changing the Game

December 10, 2017

Story by: Erin Fish Photos by: Kristin O’Grady   He grabbed her face, shoved his hands down her pants and man-handled her. A scar of his thumbnail on her stomach remains. It is the constant reminder of the worst night of her life. That scar is visible, but there is another one that is more […]

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Story by: Erin Fish

Photos by: Kristin O’Grady

 

He grabbed her face, shoved his hands down her pants and man-handled her.

A scar of his thumbnail on her stomach remains. It is the constant reminder of the worst night of her life.

That scar is visible, but there is another one that is more complicated, one that has emotionally scarred her. A scar that scar lingers, ever painful, and she is constantly reminded of it every day of her life.

She lives an incredible, humble life of service and compassion. That life is what defines Keri Potts now. Not a thumbnail left on her stomach by a drunken wretch of a man.

You see, when that predatory monster decided one night that his sexual wants were more important than the safety and dignity of Keri Potts, well, he picked on the wrong woman. She has since made it her mission to help others. She has, and she will continue to do so. This incredibly smart, tenacious and passionate woman is completely changing the game.

Landing the Job

Keri Potts, a former academic All-American standout volleyball player at Syracuse University, was on her way home from an interview with the NCAA for a writing and publications editing job. The woman sitting next to her on the flight asked why she was wearing a suit, so Keri explained  that she had just come from a very important job interview and the woman smiled, intrigued by Keri’s sincerity. For the remainder of the flight, they discussed Title IX, the need for more women in sports, how the world belonged to them and the importance of strong women taking action and making decisions within traditional structures. The woman’s name was Barb Schroeder, who Keri later found out was the President of the Division II Management Council for the NCAA. When Schroeder got off the plane she made a phone call: “You have to hire her. She’s the kind of woman we need.”

Keri worked for the NCAA for three years and seven months. The longer she worked there and the more championship events she experienced, she realized how much she loved the intersection of sports, communications, and media relations. After three years of valuable experience, Keri began to explore other opportunities and she reached out to her Syracuse connections.

When Keri attended Syracuse, she worked for the athletics department. Being a student athlete and working there, the faculty was a second family to her. She had worked for Coach Jim Boeheim one summer, so when she called him and asked him if he knew of anyone in the industry that she could bounce some ideas off of, Coach was happy to help. He told her about a Syracuse alumni, John Wildhack, who was working at ESPN. Coach Boeheim said Wildhack would be great for her to talk to and that he would give him a call.

Boeheim called Wildhack and told him ESPN should hire Keri. Although Wildhack was in production, he told Boeheim that he was more than willing to connect with Keri and help her in any way he could. The two built a strong mentor-mentee relationship through their networking connection. Wildhack grew to believe that Keri was smart, personable and passionate. When a job opened up in the communications department at ESPN, all he could do was crack open a door; after that it was up to her.

Sue Edson who, at the time, was the Director of Athletic Communications at Syracuse, called ESPN as soon as she found out Keri had applied for the job. She only made calls when she felt comfortable and after working with Keri, there weren’t many, if any, positions that she wouldn’t recommend Keri for. She believed that her skillset, personality and passion was exactly what every company should be looking for. Sue called her friend, Josh Krulewitz, who worked in public relations for ESPN to recommend Keri.

Whatever it was that ultimately convinced the hiring committee that Keri Potts was the right person for the job, ESPN and the rest of the world would soon be better off because of it.

Dream Date Turned Nightmare

Keri Potts was on vacation in Italy with her friend, Lynn. On her last night, she decided to go out for drinks with a charming Italian artist named Marco, who she had met earlier that day. It had been a couple of years since her last relationship and Keri had been talking with Lynn about how hard it was to meet nice guys. She figured she would give Marco a chance.

When they met for drinks, Marco drank rum. The two looked through a book of his paintings and they talked about art and Italy. Marco talked about how a lot of artists are into sex and drugs but all he needed was art. Keri laughed and said that was good because he wasn’t getting any sex from her. He laughed and said that he would rather talk with her and then he kissed her. He suggested they go back to his apartment to see the view from his patio. They were on the same page; she was comfortable.

Six floors up; it was a beautiful view. They talked and walked to a bar down the street. He drank more rum as she sipped her wine. He talked louder and louder; he bought a bottle to go. “Lighten up and enjoy your last night,” Keri thought as she and Marco walked back to his apartment.

She heard glass break in the other room. When Marco came around the corner and thrust the bottle of rum toward her, Keri knew it was time to leave. He handed her a glass of rum and Keri walked inside from the patio, set the glass down and told Marco she was going to head back to her hotel. He then tried to hand her marijuana and she refused.

He grabbed her face.

Marco grasped the back of her neck with a strong grip, kissed her and drew blood biting her lip as she tried to push him away.

He shoved his hands down her pants.

Marco forced his right hand into Keri’s jeans, trying to undo the button.

He man handled her.

Marco put both of his hands on Keri, pulling her body into him while shoving his hands into her underwear; she felt his fingernails scrape her.

When Marco said in nearly perfect English, “You’re not going anywhere”, Keri knew that she was in danger. The hair stood up on her neck and her stomach dropped. She tried to collect herself before she turned to face him. The charming man who she had met earlier in the day had become absolutely predatory.

Keri was smart. She had been out on the patio earlier and knew that was her way out. After a physical fight for her life with Marco, she finally pushed him hard enough that he fell backward and she was able to escape his grasp. She jumped over the wall to clear the patio and her sweater got stuck on the railing, which gave Marco enough time to catch up to her. He reached over, grabbed her neck and tried to pull her back up while she kicked and pulled in the opposite direction. Her sweater finally ripped and she fell to the balcony below.

Keri put her 5’10” athletic build and intelligent mind to use and hurdled herself rooftop-to-rooftop down five stories to escape this monster. She eventually wound up on a balcony with nowhere else to go, so she knocked on the back door. The resident let her cross through his apartment and told her how to get back to her hotel.

She pressed her ear against the door to hear if he was on the other side but she could only hear her heart beating out of her chest. What if he had been watching her climb down the whole time?

She took a deep breath, burst through the door and ran for her life. She sprinted all the way back to her hotel.

What Now?

Keri was scheduled for a 9:00am flight but after deliberating over the personal, professional, legal and financial ramifications, she decided to go to the police station. She was afraid, but she knew in order to fight her fear she had to get as much information as possible.

Keri’s knowledge of the Italian legal system came to rival that of lawyers. Utilizing her PR background, she strategically broadcast her story, hoping it would bring people forward to help her. She wanted women to be aware that when an assault occurs overseas, prosecution and justice is possible. This was extremely important to her.

She focused on places that women and travelers would look to. She got together with an old teammate, Erin Zammett Ruddy, who worked for Marie Claire and the two wrote a four-page article about her story. The Travel Channel also did a piece on her and Discovery ID did an entire episode in their series, Dates From Hell. Keri also created her own blog to include any more information that she felt had been left out.

Marie Claire Article Blog: https://afightbackwoman.com/

Her first time ever publicly speaking out about her assault was at the Clinton School in February of 2011. Afterward, eight women and one man lined up to speak with Keri. With tears in their eyes, they greeted her with hugs and shared their stories of their experience with assault and rape. In that moment, Keri had never felt more inadequate in her life. She knew then, that she needed to do more to help others.

Keri went on to receive training and her certification in rape and crisis counseling. More and more places reached out, asking her to speak and each time, she would refine her message. Over the course of those years she would take the questions that people had and shape them to fit her presentations. Keri, being the selfless human being that she is, never wanted her speech to be about her; she wanted it to help every other person in the room.

Through the Discovery ID episode, Keri was connected with a man named Roger Canaff who is a former special victim’s prosecutor out of the Bronx and a JAG attorney in the military dealing with sexual assault. Canaff had been used in the episode as an expert on prosecution of sexual assault. He was part of an organization called, Ending Violence Against Women International. When introduced to him, Keri was overwhelmed with gratitude that this man was able to speak to her. She explained to him that she wanted to talk to people who have been assaulted overseas and he connected her with people that he knew, which is how Keri ended up on a list serve called Counter Quo.

Watch Your Language

She didn’t it know yet, but what she was about to hear would shape the forthcoming of her career. Keri was in Boston attending a conference at Northeastern University with Counter Quo. There was a woman at the conference by the name of Claudia Bayliff. At the time, Bayliff was working for Legal Momentum on the prosecutorial team of Kobe Bryant’s trial. Keri listened to Bayliff talk that day about the use of language. She explained how the word “accuser” shapes everyone’s thoughts about that particular victim with a negative connotation and how engrained in the vernacular it was, especially through its heavy coverage by the media. Working for ESPN, Keri left knowing the heavy coverage was partially her fault.

She went back to the news room and asked everyone to take a look at the word accuser and how negative it could make the victim seem. Keri was instantly shot down. She was told that the word existed beforehand and there was nothing they could do to change it. Another moment of feeling inadequate for Keri Potts where she realized, in order to affect real change, she needed knowledge too, not just passion. The next time someone tried to shoot her down, she would have done the work and she would come back swinging harder.

For years, Keri became particularly keen to language. Every time she would read a story she would pay attention and write letters and emails to the editors asking them to change their wording and explaining why the use of the language was important to the story. People would write Keri emails from all over the world asking for help or telling their stories and she became used to helping people through their pain. She was doing more and more work as a victim’s advocate so she started to have a more thorough understanding of the crime. For five years Keri learned the scope and scale. She did the research and went to the conferences and seminars. She was finally in a place where she knew how to articulate this, she knew how to make arguments for anyone coming at her, and she knew how to be persuasive.

Preaching to the Choir

“Well, she shouldn’t have put herself in that situation.”

This is a classic phrase that is used in discussions of sexual violence that blames the victim and forgives the perpetrator.  When Keri Potts heard that phrase used by an on-air personality at ESPN after Ray Rice physically assaulted his fiancée, she knew that something needed to be done about their use of language.

Continuously Keri would reach out, but she never could get the right person in the extremely large company. Finally, Keri approached Stephanie Druley, SVP of Production. She explained the inappropriate and hurtful phrasing used by ESPN and convinced Druley to let her speak to the company about their responsibility in choosing their words wisely.

August 2nd, 2017.

It was the first time she ever did the presentation with a media organization. She had 30 minutes to present to 300 of her coworkers who were a part of the college networks.

Her nerves and vulnerability led to an authentic presentation that left many people in tears. Keri used every moment of the 30 minutes to grasp the attention of her colleagues and help them to fully understand the importance of the language of violence. She received a standing ovation, the response overwhelmingly positive. The emails flooded her inbox, her coworkers who hadn’t realized they were part of the problem, wanting to open their minds and educate themselves. Keri was extremely grateful for the powerful woman who trusted her, lifted her up, and ultimately gave her the opportunity she had only ever dreamed of.

After the presentation to the college team, Keri found out that in September, her presentation would become required training to all on-air talent and production at ESPN.

For two days Keri couldn’t eat. Trying to take in food, but her stomach would instantly reject it. Nerves had completely taken over. These were people that Keri respected. They may or may not have even known who she was, but she was going to stand up in front of them and in a way, show them all they had been doing wrong. She was afraid she would be rejected and mocked like she had been years ago but then she remembered, this time she had the work to back it up.

The first presentation she gave was at 10am. Keri left feeling like she could’ve done better. The next presentation wasn’t until 4pm, so Keri sat for four hours listening to calming music and practicing her speech. Everything she had was left out on that stage during that 4 o’clock presentation. She doesn’t know that she will ever do that presentation better.

From Then, To Now

ESPN has now created a guide that will no longer use the word, “accuser.” The news division has decided to abandon the word because it has a negative meaning that dehumanizes the victim. Instead, they will use “woman” or “man” as a replacement. The company will be the first company to completely remove the word from its vernacular.

Keri believes there will always be sexual predators in the news, but if we can change the way we talk about the victim and the perpetrator, we can become more aware of how deliberate these predators are.

Nine years since the nightmare in Italy and Keri reflects on the positives in her life today. She is now on the board for an organization called Pathways to Safety International, a resource for overseas victims of sexual assault, a dream opportunity. Dealing with the criticism of victims is infuriating and taxing but she truly feels invigorated by her work and feels it’s something she’ll continue to do for the rest of her life.

I am a student at the S.I. Newhouse School at Syracuse University. On October 23rd, Keri Potts gave a presentation to the Newhouse Sports Media Center and what I learned that day completely changed my outlook on life. This woman traveled back to her alma mater, not to talk about herself or all of the amazing things she is doing at ESPN, but instead she came to share her personal victim story with about 25 students whom she didn’t know. She presented to us on the use of language and I will forever be aware how important the use of language can be. I showed up thinking I would learn about what it meant to be the senior director of public relations for ESPN.

Instead I learned courage. Keri Potts is extremely brave to stand up and share her story in order to teach a group of students about the importance of sexual assault and violence. It can’t be easy to share a personal victim story, but Keri understands the importance of education on the topic.

Instead I learned honesty. Keri Potts does not hide from her true self. Sexual violence is an uncomfortable topic that Keri is extremely passionate about. She makes everyone around her feel more comfortable when discussing the subject.

Instead I learned strength. Keri Potts has endured great tragedy and has overcome hardship. She stood tall clenching her fists, tears in her eyes, telling a room of engaged students how she faced her fears head on.

I walked away from that presentation having learned what it means to be a powerful human being. Keri Potts is an incredible person that has done so much good for this world already.

Keri Potts has completely changed the game.

 

Colgate Hangs Tough, Orange Prevail

December 10, 2017

  Story by: Erin Fish Photos by: Jose Cuevas   SYRACUSE, N.Y.– The Syracuse men’s basketball team outlasted Colgate 72-58 on Saturday afternoon in what very well could have been a blow out at the Carrier Dome. With the win Syracuse improves to 8-1 on the season, while Colgate’s record falls to 3-6 after losing […]

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Story by: Erin Fish

Photos by: Jose Cuevas

 

SYRACUSE, N.Y.– The Syracuse men’s basketball team outlasted Colgate 72-58 on Saturday afternoon in what very well could have been a blow out at the Carrier Dome.

With the win Syracuse improves to 8-1 on the season, while Colgate’s record falls to 3-6 after losing its fourth straight game.

Raiders Battle

Sophomore Tyus Battle got off to hot start scoring 15 points in the first half, making it look as if there was no answer, but Colgate kept digging.

The Raiders had four 3-point shooters that spread the floor and created a significant threat for the Orange. The Raiders finished the day shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc. Coach Jim Boeheim was disappointed with some of the shots that his team allowed Colgate to take, but he gave credit where credit was due.

“Those guys can shoot, they all can shoot,” Boeheim said. “It’s a team that has four perimeter guys that all can shoot.”

Although Battle had a strong first half and the Orange were shooting 57.7 percent from the field, a lights out shooting performance and a strong defensive effort by the Raiders kept them in the game.

Colgate opened the second half with an 11-5 run and cut the score to 43-37. Freshmen Oshae Brissett and Marek Dolezaj hit back-to-back jumpers to put the Orange back up 47-37 with 13:58 left in the half. Colgate Freshman Jack Ferguson brought the Raiders back within seven when he answered with a 3-pointer.

This was just one of the six 3-pointers Ferguson hit in today’s game. He finished the game with 20 points, shooting 50 percent from the 3-point line.

Inside the Arc

Colgate proved to be a great shooting team, but Syracuse dominated the inside game. The Syracuse defense only allowed the Raiders to reach the foul line four times and while at the line the Raiders only went 2-4.

Syracuse shot 52.1 percent overall from the field and 68.2 percent from the free throw line.

Brissett scored a career high 20 points while junior Frank Howard added 18 points and 6 assists in the win.

Dolezaj had 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 3 steals. Although he only had two points today Coach Boeheim is extremely happy with the minutes that the freshman is putting in for the Orange.

“He’s one of those players that doesn’t really have to score. He makes plays,” Coach Boeheim said. “He makes winning plays. That’s what he does.”

Resting Sidibe

Freshman center Bourama Sidibe dressed for the game against Colgate on Saturday afternoon, but he did not see any playing time. Sidibe had played in every game this season up to this point.

The 6’10 center has been struggling with tendonitis in his knee and he also suffered an ankle injury in the game against Kansas last Saturday. Sidibe attempted to play in the game against UConn at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, but returned to the bench after only 10 minutes.

Coach Boeheim commented after the game that they are hoping his ankle will be better in 2-3 days.

Old Rivalry

The next game for Syracuse will be on Saturday, December 16th. The Orange will travel down to Washington D.C. to take on their former Big East Conference rival, Georgetown.

Orange Women Hold Off Wildcats, Stay Unbeaten

December 1, 2017

Story by Brooke Meenachan Photos by Karthik Venkataraman Syracuse, N.Y. — The ACC-Big Ten Challenge game between the No. 25 Syracuse Orange and Northwestern Wildcats lived up to the hype Thursday night at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse came away with an 81-74 win to improve to 7-0 on the season. Northwestern drops to 5-3. “I’m just […]

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Story by Brooke Meenachan

Photos by Karthik Venkataraman

Syracuse, N.Y. — The ACC-Big Ten Challenge game between the No. 25 Syracuse Orange and Northwestern Wildcats lived up to the hype Thursday night at the Carrier Dome.

Syracuse came away with an 81-74 win to improve to 7-0 on the season. Northwestern drops to 5-3.

“I’m just happy we’re keeping it rolling,” Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman said. “That’s the biggest thing for us, is to win games. Our girls are playing tough. They’re really playing good basketball.”

Orange Difference Makers 

Miranda Drummond and Tiana Mangakahia each posted a double-double, combining for 55 points for the Orange women.

Drummond led the offense with a career-high 29 points and tied her career-high with 11 boards.
Mangakahia also set a career-high with 26 points and finished with 12 assists.

“Pushing the ball on them was one of our key points going into that game, so we emphasized that and did that throughout the game,” Mangakahia said. “When I was driving in I could see girls move into the open spots and open gaps, so that helps as well.”

Wildcats’ One-Woman Show

Lindsey Pulliam kept Northwestern in the game. The freshman paced the Wildcats with career-high 29 points. She posted 19 of them in the first half.

“I thought Lindsay played like a senior and not like a freshman,” Northwestern head coach Joe McKeown said. “I was really proud of her, so I think she just raised the bar for us.”

Hillsman agreed. “We didn’t really slow her down. She was amazing. She had an amazing game.”

But Pulliam drew her fourth foul with 9:16 left on the clock and the Wildcats trailing 57-55. She returned with just over six minutes remaining in the game.

Down the Stretch 

It was a back-and-forth battle all game, especially in the final minutes.

The teams were tied 60-60 with just over seven minutes remaining when Syracuse went on an 11-4 run.

A jumper from Abi Scheib put the Wildcats within three with 2:28 remaining.

But multiple turnovers by Northwestern and clutch free throws by Mangakahia down the stretch proved to be the difference.

“The coaches on the sideline were like, ‘they can’t guard you, attack, attack,'” Mangakahia said. “So, that helped me, attacking and they were fouling, so it played out good.”

The Australia native hit 10-of-14 from the free throw line in the final three minutes. She’s tied for third in SU women’s basketball history for free throws made during one game.

“This is a game where we had to remain aggressive,” Hillsman said. “We could have pretty much laid down in the second half, but they went full heart.”

“I thought we did a great job attacking them and then we struggled a little bit,”McKeown added. “Then they did a great job attacking us and beat us to the rim in the fourth quarter. We had a lot of chances. We just didn’t capitalize.”

What’s Next

The Orange hosts Stony Brook (5-0) Sunday at 2 p.m.

The Wildcats return home to welcome Milwaukee (3-2) Sunday at 2 p.m.

Eagles Romp on Orange Senior Day

November 26, 2017

Story by Jude Allume  Photos by Peter Benson SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Syracuse Orange (4-8) lost its fifth straight game in blow out fashion to the Boston College Eagles (7-5) 42-14 at the Carrier Dome to end the season, Saturday afternoon. “When you’re playing the type of team that we’re playing, you have to be able to exchange punches with them,” […]

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Story by Jude Allume 
Photos by Peter Benson

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Syracuse Orange (4-8) lost its fifth straight game in blow out fashion to the Boston College Eagles (7-5) 42-14 at the Carrier Dome to end the season, Saturday afternoon.

“When you’re playing the type of team that we’re playing, you have to be able to exchange punches with them,” Orange head coach Dino Babers said. “What you saw was a boxer and a brawler and it’s a physical game. You get hit, you get hit, you got to hit back. It comes a point you get tired of doing it.”

The Start of a Long Day

From their first possession, the Eagles’ offense gave the Orange a taste of what would take place all day. With Boston College backup quarterback Darius Wade filling in for the injured Anthony Brown, the Eagles leaned heavily on their running attack. Running back AJ Dillon capped off the drive with a 22 yard touchdown run for the early 7-0 lead.

With Eric Dungey out for the third straight week, redshirt freshman Rex Culpepper got the start and the Orange responded with a scoring drive of its own. After a kick out of bounds gave Syracuse possession with good field position, the Orange picked up three first downs before the drive was capped off by a 37 yard catch and run by Steve Ishmael to even the score at 7.

That was the closest Syracuse would get for the remainder of the day however, as the Eagles went on to score rushing touchdowns on three of their first four possessions, building up a 21-7 lead halfway through the second quarter.

Have a Day, AJ

The Orange had no answers for the Eagles’ running game. True freshman AJ Dillon led the BC running attack with three touchdowns and 196 yards. The Eagles finished the game with 333 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns.

Bright Spot for the Orange

Steve Ishmael had the best game of his collegiate career, finishing with 11 receptions for a career high 187 yards and one touchdown. Ishmael broke two school records with his performance, surpassing the single-season receptions record of 94 catches and career receiving yards record of 2,728 yards. On the season Ishmael has 105 catches for 1,347 yards, good for second and third in the NCAA respectively.

Tough Goodbye for the Seniors


The loss was not the preferred way to end the season for the Orange, especially for the seniors who played their final game for Syracuse and for some, possibly the last game of their careers.

“When a football player retires from college, there’s nowhere to go,” Babers said. “Twenty-two guys aren’t playing in the park with pads.”

Instead of letting the loss sting as the final memory of a long season, with five seconds remaining in the game, Babers called timeout. One by one, he called off the seniors on defense including Zaire Franklin and Parris Bennett and embraced them as they walked off the field to the cheers of those left in the crowd.

“I was very surprised,” Bennett said. “I definitely appreciated it though. Definitely very emotional. You don’t really realize it’s your last game at the Dome until it’s over with.”

What’s Next


Boston College completed its regular season at 7-5 and awaits an invitation to a bowl game.

Syracuse finishes the season at 4-8 for the third straight year and fails to qualify for a bowl game for the fourth straight year.

Homecoming and History, Bellator 186

November 21, 2017

Story and Photos by Jose Cuevas  State College, Pa. — Bellator 186 was the first Bellator fight card held on a major Division 1 college campus. The fights emanated from Penn State University, a college campus well known for its football and top notch wrestling program. Former Penn State wrestlers Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis and […]

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Story and Photos by Jose Cuevas

 State College, Pa. — Bellator 186 was the first Bellator fight card held on a major Division 1 college campus.

The fights emanated from Penn State University, a college campus well known for its football and top notch wrestling program. Former Penn State wrestlers Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis and Ed “Easy” Ruth made their return to their alma mater and the crowd was electric in support of them.

There were 14 fights total on the card, nine on the preliminary card and five on the main televised card. The following are the results of each fight in the order they took place the Bryce Jordan Center at Penn State.

 

PRELIMINARY BOUTS

Joshua Fremd defeated Ryan Parker via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke), in the 2nd round, time: 1:25
Andrew Salas defeated Ethan Goss via Split Decision
Frank Buenafuente defeated Francis Healy via Unanimous Decision
Tywan Claxton defeated Jonny Bonilla-Bowman via KO (Flying Knee), in the 1st round, time: 1:29
Logan Storley defeated Matt Secor via Unanimous Decision
Dominic Mazzotta defeated Matthew Lozano via TKO (Doctor Stoppage)
Round 1, time: 2:37
Michael Trizano defeated Mike Otwell via Submission (Anaconda Choke)
Round 2, time: 2:07
Mike Wilkins defeated Brett Martinez via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke)
Round 2, time: 1:09
Scott Clymer defeated Michael Benjamin Putnam via TKO (unanswered Punches) Round 1, time: 3:07
MAIN CARD
Saad Awad defeated Zach Freeman via TKO (unanswered Punches) Round 1, time 1:07
Ed Ruth defeated Chris Dempsey via KO (punch) Round 2, time 0:27
Phil Davis defeated Leo Leite via Unanimous Decision
Ilima-Lei Macfarlane defeated Emily Ducote via Submission (Triangle Armbar), Round 5, time: 3:42
Ryan Bader defeated Linton Vassel via TKO (unanswered Punches) Round 2, time 3:58

 

NOTABLE FIGHTS

 

Tywan Claxton versus Jonny Bonilla-Bowman

Not all hard-hitting action occurs on the main card and this fight proves it. Tywan Claxton made his pro debut and he did not disappoint. In the 1st round he delivered a vicious flying knee that knocked out Jonny Bonilla-Bowman on contact. It was arguably the highlight of the night.

 

Dominic Mazzotta versus Matt Lozano

Dominic Mazzotta was coming off a loss to A.J. McKee at Bellator 178 and had something to prove. Mazzotta is also a native of New Kensington, Pa. which must have added to his motivation.

Mazzotta easily controlled the first round taking down Lozano and executing brutal ground and pound. Mazzotta landed an elbow early on that littered the canvas with Lozano’s blood.

Mazzotta continued to rack on the damage until the referee stopped the action to have a doctor examine the cut.

The fight was called off in the first round by the doctor and Mazzotta was declared the winner.

 

Mike Wilkins versus Brett Martinez

Two local boys faced off in the penultimate prelim fight. Mike Wilkins brought his supporters with him who cheered him on voraciously in the Bryce Jordan Center. Wilkins showed his dominance early by putting on a striking clinic in the first round.

The first round was all Wilkins as he dictated the pace and used his striking to maintain the distance. Round one ended with Martinez’s right eye swollen and with a mouse developing under it.

Heading into the second it was expected that Wilkins would use his striking to continue mounting damage, but this time it was his grappling as he was able to take down Martinez and gain rear control. He ultimately cinched in a rear naked choke and won via submission

Wilkins wasn’t the only one celebrating as his supporters were ecstatic as well.

 

Saad Awad versus Zach Freeman

Saad Awad is a veteran MMA fighter who has fought on Bellator cards multiple times. He came out with something to prove against Zach Freeman.

Awad made short work of Freeman with a vicious right hook that landed flush.

In the post fight interview Awad said he felt overlooked.  He hopes to get a title shot, and after that performance you can be assured that Bellator President Scott Coker is considering it.

 

Chris Dempsey versus Ed Ruth

Undefeated Ed Ruth returned to his Alma Mater with a thunderous ovation.

The three time All American wrestler was expected to use his wrestling skills to dominate Chris Dempsey and Ruth did not disappoint as he maintained control in the first round using his wrestling skills.

Dempsey could not overcome Ruth’s superb wrestling skills and tried to keep the fight in the center of the cage. However, it turned out to be a mistake as Ruth is also a magnificent striker.

Ruth was declared the victor in the second round via K.O. Penn State was electric as he celebrated his victory.

 

Leo Leite versus Phil Davis

Penn State wrestling coach and legend Cael Sanderson was in attendance at Bellator 186. He was asked by the broadcast team to join them for the next fight, Davis vs. Leite.

Mr. Wonderful like Ruth was a very accomplished wrestler during his time at Penn State and many believed he would use his wrestling to beat Leite. It wasn’t his wrestling that Leite would have to worry about but Davis’ kicks.

In round one Davis and Leite were feeling each other out not committing too much to attacking. Leite is a former Jui-Jitsu World Champion which gave Davis problems in terms of using his wrestling to bring Leite to the mat.

In round 2 the action perked up as Davis became more aggressive throwing more punches. However he accidentally poked Leite in the eye.

Once the referee called time in, Davis went back to applying pressure and forcing Leite on his backfoot.

Heading into the third round it seemed Davis was winning on the cards due to his consistent pressure. Davis continued throwing punches and kicks hoping to sway the judges. The crowd began chanting “We are Penn State!” and “Davis!” to motivate Davis.

Davis won a unanimous decision as his consistent pressure and role as the aggressor swayed the judges in his favor. He said that he was glad to be back at Penn State and wants a title fight next and that he wouldn’t mind fighting both Ryan Bader and Linton Vassell.

 

Ducote versus Macfarlane

History would be made as the winner of Ducote versus Macfarlane would be the inaugural Bellator Women’s Flyweight champion.

From Round one Macfarlane showed why she is a feared striker with effective punches. Not only was her striking efficient, but she was able to defend well against Ducote’s strikes.

Macfarlane was also very comfortable on the ground as she continually tried to lock in a submission hold, whether it be a triangle choke, armbar, kimura, or rear-naked choke.

In round two both fighters stayed on their feet and exchanged strikes. Ducote threw solid leg kicks hoping to weaken Macfarlane’s base. Macfarlane continued to strike effectively and caused Ducote to begin bleeding from her nose.

In the third round Macfarlane began attacking Ducote’s body. Her attack included a savage knee from a clinch. Ducote tried to take Macfarlane down in hopes of getting in control but it was reversed.

In round four both combatants took each-other to the limit as they exchanged blows in the middle of the cage. Both were showing signs of fatigue, but they did not back off.

In round five Ducote worked hard to turn the tide of the fight. She was the aggressor hoping to land something solid on Macfarlane. Macfarlane went for a throw however Ducote reversed it and gained control.

Macfarlane remained poised to find an opening and lock in a submission. She finally found her opening as she was able to secure Ducote’s arm and lock in a makeshoft armbar for the win.

Ducote verbally submitted and Macfarlane was crowned the inaugural Bellator Women’s Flyweight champion.

 

Bader versus Vassell

In the main even Ryan Bader and Linton Vassell faced off for Bader’s Bellator Light Heavyweight championship. Vassell was not an easy opponent for Bader as he was very strong and had excellent range.

As was the theme for most of the night, wrestlers dominated, and Bader used his wrestling skills to gain control of the fight.

Heading into the second round Bader resumed wrestling and was able to corner Vassell at the edge of the cage.

Bader began to throw heavy strikes after gaining wrist control and exposing Vassell’s guard. The referee stopped the fight shortly thereafter as Vassell was taking heavy punches to his face by Bader.

The referee stopped the fight in the second round via TKO and Ryan Bader retained his Light Heavyweight championship.

Battle Leads Syracuse Over Texas Southern

November 21, 2017

Story by Brooke Meenachan Photos by Peter Benson Syracuse, N.Y. — Tyus Battle proved to be the difference maker in Syracuse’s 80-67 win over Texas Southern in front of 16,644 fans Saturday night at the Carrier Dome.  The 6-foot-6 sophomore guard finished with 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting in just 26 minutes on the court. […]

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Story by Brooke Meenachan

Photos by Peter Benson

Syracuse, N.Y. — Tyus Battle proved to be the difference maker in Syracuse’s 80-67 win over Texas Southern in front of 16,644 fans Saturday night at the Carrier Dome.

 The 6-foot-6 sophomore guard finished with 21 points on 9-of-16 shooting in just 26 minutes on the court. Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim took Battle out after picking up his second personal foul with 9:50 left in the first half. Syracuse was trailing 20-18 at the time.

“He could have went back in, but I think Frank [Howard] and Geno [Thorpe] played well together during that stretch,” Coach Boeheim said.

Thorpe Steps Up

Thorpe helped pick up the slack for Syracuse with Battle on the bench. The fifth year transfer from South Florida led the Orange with 13 markers on 5-of-6 shooting, including 3-of-4 from the perimeter, heading into half with a 38-30 lead over the Tigers.

“When we we’re moving the first half, Geno made some really good plays, almost on his own,” Coach Boeheim said. “He kept us in there the first half. That was good.”

That wasn’t the case in the second half as Thorpe didn’t score a single point. The Pittsburgh native played only seven minutes and missed all three shots he took.

“I’m just trying to play my own game, you know what I mean?” Thorpe said. “Find my own rhythm. I’m not really too worried about how people think I’m playing. I just want to contribute to the team as much as possible.”

 

Battle’s Back

Battle returned to start the second half and made his presence known by burying a 3-pointer on Syracuse’s first possession.

The Orange went on a 15-0 run with the help of the sophomore guard. He scored 14 points in the first eight minutes.

Battle faked out his defender in the corner, spun back towards the baseline and put down a one-handed dunk that lifted the Syracuse crowd from their seats with 12:26 on the clock.

Battle is averaging 22.3 points per game this season.

 

Syracuse Slow Start

Like its last three starts, the Orange struggled to get the ball rolling.

Texas Southern went on a 5-0 run to start the first half. The Orange got on the board with a pair of foul shots from Oshae Brissett.

In the postgame conference, Boeheim said it was like his team had never seen a zone before.

The Tigers played a 2-3 zone, which Syracuse struggled against, going 0-7 from the field to start the game.

“It’s early in the season.” Battle said. “People are going to get more comfortable with the system with our team, with our coaching staff, guys are going to step up every night.”

Their first bucket didn’t come until four minutes in when Tyus Battle knocked down a 3-pointer.

Syracuse had five players finish in double figures. Battle led the offense with 21 points and Thorpe added 13. Howard finished with 12 markers and dished out eight assists. Bourama Sidibe and Marek Dolezaj scored 11 and 10 points respectively.

The Tigers were led by Donte Clark, who finished with 20 points.

Orange Crushed by Cardinals

November 21, 2017

Story by Karthik Venkataraman Photos by Rafael Freitas LOUISVILLE, Ky.–Weather delayed Saturday’s game, but not even Mother Nature was pouring it on as much as the Louisville Cardinals did on Syracuse in the Orange’s 56-10 loss at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky. At a Glance The team suffered its worst loss by point […]

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Story by Karthik Venkataraman

Photos by Rafael Freitas

LOUISVILLE, Ky.–Weather delayed Saturday’s game, but not even Mother Nature was pouring it on as much as the Louisville Cardinals did on Syracuse in the Orange’s 56-10 loss at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky.


At a Glance

The team suffered its worst loss by point margin on the season, ending its chance for an automatic bid for a bowl game.

“I’m not even going to use the ‘B’ word right now,” Syracuse head coach Dino Baber said. “It’s just a situation where we went out there and played a football team that’s in the top part of our conference and we didn’t get an opportunity to compete with them.”

The Cardinals got it done behind a powerfully balanced offensive attack. Louisville outgained Syracuse in total yards 727 to 335.

Louisville Lit up Scoreboard Early and Often

Louisville set the tone just 36 seconds into the Senior Day game with a senior.

On the second play of the opening drive, Cardinals running back Malik Williams bolted into the endzone for a 43-yard rushing touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

The Orange responded with a 51-yard field goal from Cole Murphy later in the quarter, but those were the only points Syracuse mustered in the first half.

Just as quickly as the Cardinals opened up the first quarter, they did it again in the second. On the quarter’s opening play, Quarterback Lamar Jackson stiff armed a defender on his way to a 43-yard rushing touchdown to make it 14-3.

Two minutes of game time later, running back Reggie Bonnafon added to the score with a 33-yard rushing touchdown to make it 21-3 as the crowd chanted his name.

“That was like a dream come true,” Bonnafon said. “It was cool to feel the love from the fans.”

The game was postponed early in the second quarter due to lightning. The 43 minute delay couldn’t halt the Cardinals momentum.

When play resumed, Jackson found wide receiver Jaylen Smith for a 72-yard strike with 5:50 left in the first half.

On the following drive, Syracuse third-string quarterback Rex Culpepper replaced Zack Mahoney, who was starting for injured Eric Dungey. Mahoney was 5 of 15 for 49 yards with two interceptions when he was pulled.

Louisville took a 35-3 lead at halftime. Syracuse was out-gained 450 yards to 148 at the break. All the touchdowns Syracuse’s defense let up in the first half were for more than 30 yards.

 

Louisville Kept Foot on the Gas in Second Half

The Orange started with possession in the second half with a chance to gain momentum,

however, Culpepper threw an interception in the opening drive of the half.

Louisville promptly scored 56 seconds later as Jackson twisted and turned for a 19 yard rushing touchdown making it 42-3.

The Cardinals scored two more touchdowns in the half.

Malik Williams ran through the Orange defense for a 56-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Williams had nine rushes for 181 yards and two touchdowns. It was the most rushing yards by a running back at Louisville since 2010.

Backup Louisville quarterback Jawon Pass threw a touchdown to wide receiver Dez Fitzpatrick to make it 56-3 in the fourth.

The Orange scored an eight yard, Ervin Phillips rushing touchdown with about five minutes left in the game to make it 56-10.

 

Game notes for the Orange

Rex Culpepper finished the game 8-19 for 89 yards with two interceptions.

Syracuse boasts the top active receiving duo in NCAA football with wide receivers Steve Ishmael and Ervin Phillips.  They struggled to find space today, combining for only four catches and 42 yards. It was the duo’s lowest combined total of the season.

The Orange allowed over 50 points for the second straight game, allowing 110 points in total to Wake Forest and Louisville. The defense has let up over 700 yards in both of the last two games. They allowed 734 yards to Wake Forest and 727 to Louisville.

“I think it’s a lot more about who we are playing and what they are doing,” Babers said on the defenses struggles. “Coaches are doing a good job isolating people and putting them in situations where guys are going to have to make plays.”

 

A Career Day for a Heisman Candidate

Lamar Jackson had quite the day for Louisville and set school records along the way. Jackson went 14-26 for 270 yards and two touchdowns. He ran 12 times for 111 yards and two touchdowns.

“Today he made plays that people can’t make other than him,” Syracuse linebacker and team captain Zaire Franklin said.

He broke the school record for most total yards in Louisville Cardinals history. He passed Chris Redman’s total of 12,474 yards.

 

Orange Highlights

As starting running back Dontae Strickland sat out due to injury, his backup Moe Neal rushed for a season high 98 yards.

Steve Ishmael ties former Orange wide receiver Amba Etta-Tawo’s single-season record for receptions at 94 that was set in 2016.

On defense, linebacker Zaire Franklin recorded his 300th career tackle.

 

What’s Next for Syracuse

The Orange plays its final game of the year against Boston College next Saturday in the Carrier Dome. It will be Senior Day for Syracuse.

“We’ve got to treat it like everything else and finish it the right way,” Franklin said. “Come in, watch it, learn from it, get a win on our senior night.”

Syracuse is no longer eligible for an automatic bid for a bowl game.

Syracuse Battles to 68-45 Win Over Hawks

November 21, 2017

Story By Julian Whigham Photos by Jude Allume   Syracuse, N.Y. – The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (2-0) topped the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks (1-2) 68-45, winning their second of four straight home games. Sophomore point guard Tiana Mangakahia looked sharp, spreading the ball around for ten assists and redshirt junior forward Miranda Drummond […]

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Story By Julian Whigham

Photos by Jude Allume

 

Syracuse, N.Y. – The Syracuse Orange women’s basketball team (2-0) topped the Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks (1-2) 68-45, winning their second of four straight home games.

Sophomore point guard Tiana Mangakahia looked sharp, spreading the ball around for ten assists and redshirt junior forward Miranda Drummond led the way in scoring, recording 19 points on an efficient five of nine shooting night.

“She (Drummond) did a really good job of getting into some open areas, she’s a good player.” Orange head coach Quinton Hillsman said. “When you have a good player who can play a lot of minutes for you, you have a chance at being successful.”

 

How It Happened

Syracuse got off to a hot start defensively holding MDESW to just 10 points and 35-percent shooting from the floor. The Orange’s defensive effort translated into early offense, converting ten first-quarter turnovers into eight points on the other end. In the second period, Jasmine Nwaje sparked a 10-0 run with a jumper at the 6:11 mark and after an Isis Young layup in the final seconds, Syracuse closed the half with a 37-28 advantage.

In the fourth, the Orange got out on another run, this time a 12-point advantage capped by a Mangakahia lay-up as the guard tallied her final two points, finishing with 16 on the night—recording her first double-double of the season.

Freshman Nikki Oppenheimer drained a 3-point dagger in the closing moments of the fourth, giving the Orange a comfortable 24-point lead.

 

Player of the Game 

Miranda Drummonds 19-point night helped her lead both teams in player efficiency at a rate of 19.0. Drummond started slow, shooting just one for four in the first quarter. Her sluggish shooting night didn’t last long, scoring 13 points in the second quarter.

“Seeing that first one go down definitely helps.” Drummond said.

 

Notes

  • Syracuse out-rebounded Maryland Eastern Shore 51-33 and picked up 12 offensive boards in the game.
  • Three Syracuse players recorded double-figure points, including Drummond (19), Mangakahia (16), and Finklea-Guity (11)
  • Mangakahia finished with ten assists tonight for the second game in a row.

Tirico Collects Marty Glickman Award in Campus Ceremony

November 15, 2017

Story by Zach Staton Photos by Kristin O’Grady Syracuse, N.Y. – When Mike Tirico is behind a microphone calling a Notre Dame football game for NBC or hosting Football Night in America, he usually has a tremendous amount of notes prepared, ready to deliver any information at a moment’s notice. That was not the case Tuesday night […]

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Story by Zach Staton

Photos by Kristin O’Grady

Syracuse, N.Y. – When Mike Tirico is behind a microphone calling a Notre Dame football game for NBC or hosting Football Night in America, he usually has a tremendous amount of notes prepared, ready to deliver any information at a moment’s notice.

That was not the case Tuesday night when he accepted the Marty Glickman Award for Leadership in Sports Media.

“I sat next to Beth (Mowins) and pulled out a notecard and said, ‘Beth, look what I’ve prepared,'” Tirico told the audience in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School during his acceptance speech.

“Nothing. That flies in the face of what I’m supposed to do, but I wanted this to be from the heart.”

Honoring Marty Glickman

Tirico, who graduated from Syracuse in 1988, is the fifth person to receive the award, joining Bob Costas, Marv Albert, Beth Mowins, and Sean McDonough. The award is named after Marty Glickman, an Olympian and 1939 alumnus who later became a trailblazer as a sports announcer. He is credited with being the person who started the long line of successful sports media professionals who attended Syracuse.

“It means a lot because of who Marty was and what he represent, and the standard he set.” Tirico said. “I came here because of Bob (Costas) and Marv (Albert). And they came here because of Marty.”

Albert, a Glickman protégé, said his mentor would be proud of Tirico.

“One of the things I admired about Marty was his ability to broadcast a variety of sports in any role,” Albert said in a pre-taped message shown during the ceremony. “I see those same qualities in Mike Tirico.”

Tirico’s Résumé

Tirico’s career has spanned more than 30 years, starting in Syracuse a rerporter and then sports director at WTVH-TV while serving as the play-by-play voice for SU football, basketball, lacrosse, and volleyball.  He then moved on to ESPN, where he spent the next 25 years in various roles, including the voice of Monday Night Football for nine seasons.  He also broadcaste events such as The Open, The Masters, FIFA World Cup, Wimbledon, and tennis’ U.S. Open.

In July 2016, he made the move to NBC Sports Group, where he is now the voice of Notre Dame Football and NBC’s broadcasts of Thursday Night Football and the on-site host forFootball Night in America and Sunday Night Football.  In 2018, he will become the primetime host for the Olympics, a position previously held by Costas, starting with the winter games held in PyeongChang, South Korea.  After such a long stint with ESPN, Tirico said he didn’t know what to expect from the transition to a new company.

“Whenever you’re someplace for a long time, people respect you professionally, but they don’t know you personally,” Tirico said. “These guys and gals have opened up their family to me and made me feel like I’ve been there forever.”

A Friendship Comes Full Circle

McDonough, last year’s recipient, presented the award.  He took over the play-by-play duties for Monday Night Football when Tirico left for NBC.  He kept McDonough informed on his possible move to a new company, hinting that it could lead to a promotion for McDonough.

“He said, ‘I think if I leave and go to NBC, they’re going to give you Monday Night Football,'” McDonough said during his presentation speech. “I said, ‘Well if that’s the case, as your friend, you absolutely must go.'”

Moving seemed to be a theme in the pair’s friendship. Right after graduating in May 1984, McDonough took his first job in Boston.  The staff at WAER, the university-licensed radio station where McDonough worked during his time at Syracuse, decided to help him move to his new apartment.  Part of the moving crew: Mike Tirico, a freshman who started in September 1984.

“I never met the guy,” Tirico recalled. “When you’ve helped somebody move their couch out of their college apartment to go someplace else, then you know it’s a good start to a friendship.”

Reunion for Monday Night Football Announcers

Tuesday night’s ceremony also marked the first time that all three of Tirico, McDonough, and Mowins had been together since Mowins became the first female to announce Monday Night Football.  When she learned the news she would be on the call for the second game of ESPN’s doubleheader, the first people she contacted were in Tirico and McDonough.

“They were together on the golf course with Al Michaels,” Mowins said. “So they told me, ‘Oh there’s no pressure. There’s no big shoes to fill.'”

Their advice to Mowins was simple: “Be yourself.” The fact that three Newhouse graduates were following each other in the booth was something all three took seriously.

“We realize we are ambassadors for the University in some fashion when we’re out there,” McDonough said. “It’s a responsibility we cherish and take very seriously.”

The Tirico-Mowins Connection

Tirico called Mowins the “premier glass-ceiling breaker in this business of all-time.” However, it was an indirect tie that Tirico said will always leave him indebted to Mowins.

“Beth’s scholarship to play basketball at Syracuse was probably taken by my wife,” Tirico said. “If not for Beth going to Lafayette, I never would have met my wife.”

Perhaps the unknown sacrifice came to provide Mowins with good karma later on. Before Mowins went to work for ESPN, she interned at WTVH-TV whileTirico was there. She remembered the experience helped her see how to prepare for broadcasts and how to work with others in the business.

“It was the basis of my knowledge and my jumping off point into the industry,” Mowins said.  “I got a glimpse at how the right way to do things were.”

Battle Leads Orange Men Over Iona

November 15, 2017

Story and photos by Peyton Zeigler SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Sophomore Tyus Battle led the Syracuse Orange to victory against the Iona Gaels 71-62 at the Carrier Dome Tuesday night. He finished with a career-high 28 points along with five rebounds and three assists. “We got a lot of work to do,” head coach Jim Boeheim said. […]

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Story and photos by Peyton Zeigler

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Sophomore Tyus Battle led the Syracuse Orange to victory against the Iona Gaels 71-62 at the Carrier Dome Tuesday night. He finished with a career-high 28 points along with five rebounds and three assists.

“We got a lot of work to do,” head coach Jim Boeheim said. “They’re fighting. I see improvement.”

Coming off a season-opening win against Cornell, Syracuse (2-0) struggled against the matchup defense by Iona (0-2). Boeheim gave credit to Iona, who made the NCAA tournament last year.

“I think they’ve got a really good team,” he said. “They forced us into some turnovers that we can’t make.”

This win could shape the Orange as a tournament team, even though it was not projected as such in the preseason.

Career Night for Battle

Eleven of Battle’s career-high 28 points came in the last eight minutes of the game. His previous high was 23 against Virginia last season. This effort did not go unnoticed by his teammates.

“I feel like he can [get hot] any time he wants,” freshman forward Oshae Brissett said. “That’s someone that we want taking those last shots and giving us easy points on the board, because that’s what he can do.”

Battle said he felt more confident during the game. When Iona started to inch back within a few points, he just wanted to make something happen.

“I live for stuff like this,” Battle said. “Just trying to be aggressive and will the team to a win.”

He also mentioned the offensive rebounds made by Marek Dolezaj late in the game.

“It was just a good team effort all around. I think it was a good win for us.”


Three-point Shootout

The Gaels are known for being a three-point shooting team, and they didn’t stray from their usual game plan tonight. They shot 32 three-pointers and 31.3 percent led by junior guard Ricky McGill. McGill was 5 for 9.  He was the most productive in three-point range and finished with 21 points.

Syracuse shot 33.percent from beyond the arc. Junior Frank Howard, Battle and Brissett each finished with two threes.

What’s Ahead

Syracuse hosts Texas Southern on Saturday, Nov. 18 at the Carrier Dome to begin the Hoophall Miami Invitational. Texas Southern (1-1) is coming off an overtime win at Washington State. The Tigers play Thursday at Ohio State.

Orange Men Use Strong Second Half to Take Care of Owls

November 7, 2017

Story by Jude Allume Photos by Dominique Patrick SYRACUSE, N.Y. —  The Syracuse Orange blew out the Southern Connecticut State University Owls despite a slow start, 84-59 at the Carrier Dome in its final exhibition game, Monday night at the Carrier Dome. It was the second straight blowout victory against a division II opponent for the Orange, but also the second […]

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Story by Jude Allume

Photos by Dominique Patrick

SYRACUSE, N.Y. —  The Syracuse Orange blew out the Southern Connecticut State University Owls despite a slow start, 84-59 at the Carrier Dome in its final exhibition game, Monday night at the Carrier Dome.

It was the second straight blowout victory against a division II opponent for the Orange, but also the second straight game the offense was out of sync to start off, as the Orange trailed for the entire first half.



Owls Come Out Strong


Southern Connecticut came out the locker rooms with more energy to start the game, collecting five offensive rebounds and forcing three turnovers as they jumped out to an early 11-0 lead.

“It’s effort,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “Sometimes with young guys they don’t understand the level of intensity that you have to play with. It takes a little while, we have to learn that pretty quickly.”

It wasn’t until more than four minutes had already gone by that the Orange scored its first points of the game, when Oshae Brissett gathered a missed three-pointer by Tyus Battle and laid it in for the bucket and a foul.

The Owls wouldn’t let up, however, as they built their lead to 15 points with the score at 27-12 and just over five minutes left to play in the first half.

Junior guard Isaiah McLeod led the way for the Owls, with 10 first-half points.

Defense Sets The Tone


With the offense failing to consistently score, Syracuse switched to its full court press defense hoping it would spark the offense as it did in the last game for the Orange.

“We couldn’t score,” Boeheim said. “So we might as well try and get a turnover, see if we can get something that way, that would help.”

While the defense was effective, it didn’t provide the spark on offense Syracuse was looking for. The Orange forced 20 turnovers on the night, but only converted them into ten points.

The Orange also blocked 11 shots for the game, led by freshman Bourama Sidibe with five.

A Tale of Two Halves


Syracuse didn’t do anything well in the first half and trailed the Owls in almost every statistical category, with Boeheim taking notice of rebounding in particular.

“We just didn’t make hustle plays.” Boeheim said. “We didn’t rebound and when that happens and you’re not working at this game, it doesn’t matter who you’re playing.”

In the second half, Syracuse came out a different team. The Orange built on the momentum at the end of the first when SU finished on a 9-0 run. The Orange started the second half on a 14-3 run to overtake the lead and never looked back as the rout was on.

Syracuse more than doubled its first half point total of 24, scoring 60 in the second half on a much in improved 57-percent shooting from the field.

Top Performers

It was a rough night shooting the ball for sophomore guard Tyus Battle. He shot just 26 percent from the field on 4 of 15 shooting.

“I was just missing shots,” Battle said. “I just gotta keep on shooting the ball, stop taking as many threes and start trying to take the ball to the basket and get to the foul line. The shots not gonna fall every night.”

Battle still led the Orange in scoring with 20 points thanks to a solid night at the free throw line where he went 10 for 10.

Junior guard Frank Howard finished second in scoring for the game with 19 points for the Orange.

Isaiah Mcleod paced the Owls with 18 points before fouling out.

The Season Begins

The Orange will kick off the regular season this Friday at the Carrier Dome against Cornell University at 7 p.m..

Jim Boeheim’ son Jimmy is expected to make his debut in the game starting at forward for Cornell.

The Owls’ next game will also be their season opener on Wednesday Nov.15 against the College of Saint Rose.

Syracuse Falls Short in Tallahassee Thriller

November 5, 2017

Story By Jonathan Singh  Photos By Tommy Farrell    Tallahassee, Fla. –  In a game that came down to the final seconds of regulation, the Syracuse Orange (4-5, 2-3 ACC) fell short once again on the road. Cole Murphy’s 43-yard, game tying field goal attempt, with six seconds left, was wide left. The Florida State Seminoles (3-5, […]

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Story By Jonathan Singh 

Photos By Tommy Farrell 

 

Tallahassee, Fla. –  In a game that came down to the final seconds of regulation, the Syracuse Orange (4-5, 2-3 ACC) fell short once again on the road. Cole Murphy’s 43-yard, game tying field goal attempt, with six seconds left, was wide left.

The Florida State Seminoles (3-5, 3-4 ACC) picked up a much needed win over the Orange. Dino Babers and company, continue winless on the road in a season where the ‘Cuse hasn’t been able to pick up a victory outside of the “Loud House.” 

Dungey Down, Seminoles Strike 

Eric Dungey was the story of the first quarter for the Orange. The junior lasted one drive as it was capped off by a Derwin James interception.

This was the start the struggling Seminoles were looking for. Dungey did not return for the rest of the quarter as he walked his way into the Syracuse locker room under his own power, limping on his right foot.

Senior Zach Mahoney would step in under center for the remainder of the quarter until Dungey returned from the locker room.

“I am not going to talk about the injury but he did a fantastic job on coming back and battling. Obviously he wasn’t 100 percent but he was out there giving us his arm and giving him his leadership, and giving us his decisions making skills. He did a fantastic job.” Babers said.

Across the field it would be Florida State’s James Blackman finding Nyqwan Murray for a 51-yard strike into the end zone, giving the Seminoles an early 7-0 lead following a Ricky Aguayo extra point.

The FSU defense would take advantage of Mahoney the next two possessions, harassing him in the pocket, keeping the Orange off the scoreboard for the remainder of the quarter.

 

Akers Adds a Couple, Orange Respond

Cam Akers tailed for two scores for the Seminoles in the second quarter. A 54-yard touchdown run with 13:38 remaining in the first half was the longest of the freshman’s career, until he broke off a 63-yard run later in the second quarter.

“I think good backs, you’ve got to tackle them. I think one good run Peanut Butter (Parris Bennett) missed a tackle. Good runners make tacklers miss, and they got big plays. I think we did a better job of tackling in the second half.” Babers said.

Akers finished the half with 159 yards on the ground.

Syracuse would rally back off the limping foot of Dungey. A 47-yard strike to Jamal Custis would cut the score in half. A few possessions later, Dungey fired a 34-yard pass to Steve Ishmael to send the Orange into the locker room trailing 21-14.

 

Kickers Duel 

The scoring in the third quarter would come off the legs of Cole Murphy and Ricky Aguayo. Murphy made it a four-point game with a field goal from 42-yards out cutting the lead to 21-17.

On the other end Aguayo nailed a crucial field goal from 49-yards to conclude the second half padding the Seminoles lead to 24-17.

 

A Late Rally Ends Wide Left

In a quarter filled with strong defense for both teams, it would be the final three minutes of the contest that had the fans on the edge of their seats.

Dungey rallied the Orange to a 14-play 75-yard drive, which resulted in a 3-yard quarterback keeper into the end zone, cutting the score to 27-24.

Babers elected to onside kick on the ensuing kickoff. The choppy kick was recovered by Derwin James, setting the Seminoles up with great field position at midfield. Syracuse’s defense would come up strong and force a punt later that drive.

“I said wait a minute, let’s see if we can get them with an onside kick. I know the percentages are low.” Babers said.

Dungey and the offense took the field with 1:23 remaining in the game with the ball at their own 18-yard line. After a couple of quick strikes to Steve Ishmael, Syracuse was able to drive down field spotting the ball at the Seminole 25-yard line. It would be the final six seconds remaining in regulation that would set up a Cole Murphy potential game tying kick.

The snap was good, the hold was great and the kick was wide. Murphy shanked the kick wide left from 43-yards out as Florida State stormed the field with the joy of victory. The Orange remained on the sidelines after coming up short yet again on the road.

 

Back To The Dome 

Syracuse heads home to host Wake Forest November 11th as they look to make a push for a Bowl Game. The Orange need to win two of their next three games if they want to find themselves playing in the post season.

The schedule does not get easier for Dino Babers and the Orange as they then head down to Louisville to take on Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals.

The final regular season game will conclude when Boston College comes to the Dome, in a game which can potentially determine their season.

 

Orange Ease Past Southern New Hampshire

November 5, 2017

Story by Peter Benson Photos by Ivan Traczuk   SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Syracuse men’s basketball team kicked off the 2017-18 season at the Carrier Dome on Wednesday night, with an easy 84-54 victory against Southern New Hampshire. The visiting Penmen came out strong, but after the Orange shook off some early-season rust, they never looked back. Head […]

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Story by Peter Benson

Photos by Ivan Traczuk

 

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Syracuse men’s basketball team kicked off the 2017-18 season at the Carrier Dome on Wednesday night, with an easy 84-54 victory against Southern New Hampshire.

The visiting Penmen came out strong, but after the Orange shook off some early-season rust, they never looked back. Head Coach Jim Boeheim was pleased with the effort in the first outing of the year. “Overall, it was a good first step,” Boeheim said.

Inside Out

Everything worked inside out. Center Paschal Chukwu and forward Bourama Sidibe rotated as rim protector at the five spot, and their presence forced Southern New Hampshire to take outside shots.

With the Penmen out on the perimeter, Syracuse’s depth at the guard spot proved too much. The majority of minutes went to starters Frank Howard and Tyus Battle, the two guards stopping the players opposite them, Chris Walters and Charlie Russo.

Any time Southern New Hampshire did venture inside, they found the rim protection lurking. Syracuse recorded an astonishing 16 blocks with Chukwu and Sidibe grabbing six each.

“It’s something we work on in practice,” Chukwu said.

“We hadn’t blocked that many shots in a long time,” Boeheim added. “These two guys are pretty good shot blockers.”

 

Local Boy

Southern New Hampshire’s Charlie Russo had a disappointing performance. The Syracuse local shot just 1-10 before hitting three straight in the final three minutes.

Russo interned in the Syracuse basketball office and was an integral reason the two teams organized an exhibition game against each other.

 

Offensive Movement

Early in the first half, most of the offense went through Battle. As Syracuse was shaking off the offseason rust, the sophomore helped ignite the offense with an early surge of 11 points in the first 10 minutes.

It didn’t take long for the Orange to begin to move the ball on offense, getting other players involved. Oshae Brissett finished with 17 points and 11 boards while Frank Howard, Howard Washington and Bourama Sidibe all finished with double digit points.

 

Exhibition Game

Syracuse returned only one starter this season — Battle — and will be forced to navigate the ACC with a roster that hasn’t played a lot of minutes together.  Exhibition games are important to the players trying to get a feel for each other ahead of the regular season.

“With these guys, it makes a big difference,” Boeheim said.

In a game where there was very little in the way of flashiness — a Tyus Battle dunk early in the first half and the blocks — coach was still happy to get the win.

“I think there were a lot of positives,” Boeheim said. “This was a good first effort.”

 

Up Next

The Orange have another exhibition against Southern Connecticut State on Monday, Nov. 6 before their regular season tips off against Cornell on Friday, Nov.10 at the Carrier Dome.

 

Hurricanes Hold Off Orange in Miami

October 23, 2017

Story by Monica Ortiz Photos by Peyton Zeigler Miami Gardens, Fla. —  Despite a late game surge, Syracuse fell to No. 8  Miami Hurricanes on a sloppy field at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday. After beating the defending national champion Clemson Tigers eight days earlier Syracuse (4-4, 2-2 ACC) faced another top-ten opponent; this time on the […]

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Story by Monica Ortiz

Photos by Peyton Zeigler

Miami Gardens, Fla. —  Despite a late game surge, Syracuse fell to No. 8  Miami Hurricanes on a sloppy field at Hard Rock Stadium on Saturday.
After beating the defending national champion Clemson Tigers eight days earlier Syracuse (4-4, 2-2 ACC) faced another top-ten opponent; this time on the road and came up just short, losing 27-19.
The SU defense and place kicker Cole Murphy kept Syracuse in the game as Orange quarterback Eric Dungey threw four interceptions and was consistently pummeled by the Miami defense.
“The defense played a great game; offensively we have to help them out,” Dungey said. “But Miami is a great team. Bruises will heal but I just want to win.”
 
The Difference 

The Orange offense struggled to keep the ball in the first half. In addition to Dungey’s four interceptions Miami forced two punts.  Dungey kept it from potentially becoming worse as, after the first  interception he ripped the ball away from the Miami defender Demetrius Johnson, allowing Syracuse to keep the ball with a new set of downs. But that ended in a punt and Miami drove from its own 25-yard line to the Syracuse one before the Orange defense stuffed the Hurricanes, forcing them to take a chip shot field goal and a 3-0 lead.

That’s how it stood as the first quarter ended but Miami (6-0, 4-0 ACC) was driving and finished it off with a 10-yard pass from Malik Rosier, Jr. to tight end Chris Herndon and a 10-0 lead.

Dungey was picked off again and while the defense held Miami to a 39-yard field goal with 10:41 left in the second quarter Miami was up 13-0.

Syracuse drove but when Steve Ishmael was injured as he tried unsuccessfully to hold onto a pass in the end zone, the Orange turned to Murphy, who delivered a 22-yard field goal giving Syracuse a glimpse of hope, trailing 13-3 at the half.

Third quarter

Syracuse stopped Miami’s opening possession and drove to the Hurricanes’ 22-yard line, but passes to Irv Phillips and Steve Ishamel went incomplete and on fourth and five Murphy hit a 40-yard field goal, making it 13-6.

After an exchange of punts, the ‘Canes struck again after Braxton Berrios returned Sterling Hofrichter punt to the UM 47. Two-plays later, Rosier hit Jeff Thomas for a 48-yard touchdown and after the extra point Miami led 20-6.

Syracuse responded with its only touchdown with a six-play, 65-yard drive featuring runs by Dungey of 28 and 14 yards, and capped by a 15-yard burst by Moe Neal into the end zone. Murphy’s kick was good and it was 20-13 in favor of Miami. Twice in the game Dungey tried to hurdle would-be tacklers, crashing into them full-bore.

 

Fourth quarter: a one-point game

The Syracuse defense stopped Miami and the Orange drove for another Murphy field goal, this one from 45 yards. Miami led 20-16.

The Miami drive stalled after two first downs and Syracuse got the ball back and drove again.

This time the ‘Canes stopped the Orange at the UM 35 and Murphy came back on to the muddy, sloppy field again, this time to try one from 53 yards out.

And hit.

 

And then

 Miami immediately answered with a touchdown on a nine-play, 85-yard drive, but it was still a one-possession game at 27-19.

On the next drive for the Orange, Dungey connected to Devin Butler for 22 yards, giving Syracuse a first down. But on the last SU series, a fourth-down pass to Irv Phillips along the right sideline was ruled incomplete and was short of the first down marker anyway. That put Miami in victory formation to run out the clock.

“We found another way to make it really exciting,” said Miami head coach Mark Richt, whose team stayed unbeaten after a third consecutive close game. “Part of the reason was Syracuse is a really good football team. We’ve seen what they can do, especially last week with Clemson, but everybody that’s played them this year has been just talking about them and how much harder they’re playing now and with a purpose now.

“Not that they didn’t last year, but they’re a better team from what people say, from a year ago. It’s a tribute to what Coach [Dino] Babers is doing over there.”

“Obviously, [they are] a fabulous football team,” Babers said of the Hurricanes. “We had our difficulties shaking some people off in man‐to‐man coverage. Four turnovers in the first half, giving them great field position and putting our defense in a bad situation. Came back and played a better second half of football, but when you’re playing a team like this you got to score touchdowns, not kick field goals if you’re going to beat a team that’s ranked in the top 10.”

Orange Defense

Despite four turnovers by the Orange’s offense the defense held the Hurricanes to 27 points, only allowing Miami to score a touchdown off one of those turnovers.
“I think the defense played well,” said senior linebacker Paris Bennett, who had ten tackles for Syracuse. “We have a lot to improve on, but four turnovers and holding them to only 27, that’s big,”
What impressed Bennett was Cole Murphy.

“That’s my guy. I’ve never doubted Cole. I always felt he was a great kicker. They were big and they were outside. I was counting on him. We were all counting on him to capitalize.”

Making the field goals count

Murphy connected on four out of four field goals tries, 22 yards being the shortest. The next three were more than 40 yards, with the longest at 53 in the fourth  quarter, putting Syracuse within a point of Miami. Overall Murphy made 12 out of the 19 points for Syracuse.

What’s next

Syracuse has a bye week coming up, but the Orange will face Florida State (2-4, 2-3 ACC) in Tallahassee on Nov. 4. Syracuse is now third in the ACC Atlantic behind Clemson and N.C. State with a league record of 2-2.

HBO Boxing After Dark Brings Hard-Hitting Action to Central New York

October 23, 2017

Story and photos by Jose Cuevas Verona, N.Y. — A new champion was crowned Saturday night as HBO Boxing after Dark returned to the Turning Stone Resort and Casino. That was just one of nine fights on the card including a match that was televised to the live crowd from across the pond in Belfast, Ireland. It was a […]

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Story and photos by Jose Cuevas

Verona, N.Y. — A new champion was crowned Saturday night as HBO Boxing after Dark returned to the Turning Stone Resort and Casino.

That was just one of nine fights on the card including a match that was televised to the live crowd from across the pond in Belfast, Ireland.

It was a night that started with a TKO, included a fighter who came to the ring in a wolf mask and ended with a new champion’s fans waving the flag of Puerto Rico in the arena.
Results

Here is the fight card with the result of each bout:

Preliminary Bouts:

 Lightweights in a six-round bout Michael Dutchover (5-0, 4 KOs) defeated Anthony De Jesus (2-3, 2 KOs) via TKO in the fourth round.

Superfeatherweights in a six-round bout. Ruben Villa (7-0, 4 KOs) defeated German Meraz(54-44-1 34 KOs) via unanimous decision

 

Super Lightweights in a six-round bout Luis Feliciano (3-0) defeated Istvan Dernanecz (10-6, 7 KOs) via TKO in the second round.

 

Middleweights in a four-round bout Alex Rincon (2-0, 2 KOs) defeated Steven Andrade (3-2, 2 KOs) via TKO in the second round.

Light Heavyweights in a ten-round bout D’Mitrius Ballard (17-0, 12 KOs) defeated Jaime Solorio (9-3-2, 6 KOs) via unanimous decision

Lightweights in a ten-round bout Lamont Roach (14-0, 5 KOs) defeated Luis Hinojosa (20-12, 17 KOs) via TKO (doctor stoppage due to injury) in the first round

Middleweights in a twelve-round bout Demetrius Andrade (24-0, 16 KOs) defeated Alantez Fox (23-0-1, 11 KOs) via unanimous decision

Super Featherweights in a twelve-round bout Alberto Machado (18-0, 15 KOs) defeated Jezreel Corrales (22-1, 8 KOs) for the WBA Super Featherweight Title via KO in the eighth round

*Jezreel Corrales was stripped of the WBA belt after being four pounds over the 130 pound limit.

 

 

Notable Fights

 

Ruben Villa versus German Meraz

With a record of (54-44-1) Meraz is what many consider a journeyman; he’s a tough guy who will probably never reach the highest echelon of boxing. However, Meraz celebrated an accomplishment on Saturday that not many fighters can claim. Saturday was his 100th professional bout. Villa won a comfortable unanimous decision against Meraz, but the accomplishment is still an impressive one.

 

D’Mitrius Ballard versus Jaime Solorio

In Boxing it is customary for prospects to face journeymen in their first couple of pro fights. This is to see if they are the real deal and to prepare them for bigger fights that come down the road. D’Mitrius “Big Meech” Ballard was the prospect heading into this fight and Solorio was the rugged journeyman to test him. And did he test him.

Ballard was on his back foot through many of the rounds as Solorio would not stop coming forward. Ballard countered Solorio’s aggression with effective counterpunches and potshots.

The formula remained the same for Ballard, but Solorio made it very tough for him, consistently pushing Ballard to the ropes and landing some solid hard punches.

What separates journeymen from elite fighters is their technique. That is what got Ballard through this fight. He waited patiently to counter and land effective punches. He read Solorio’s fight patterns and exploited them when he saw an opening. The fight was not easy as Solorio would not quit and gave Ballard all he had. Ultimately Ballard won via unanimous decision.

 

Lamont Roach Jr. versus Luis Hinojosa

Roach Jr.’s trainer recently died and he dedicated the fight to him and went out looking for a decisive and memorable victory. It was memorable not for a titillating knockout, but a bizarre injury to Hinojosa’s foot.

A win is a win, but honestly I wanted this fight to end with him on the floor with a body punch or feeling his head swirl because I clipped him in the chin,” Roach, Jr. said after the fight. “This week, my team has gone from hell and back after losing my cousin, trainer, and mentor, Coach Roach. This win is a symbolism of the victories that await us because of the hard work put in by him.”

 

Demetrius Andrade versus Alantez Fox

The undefeated Andrade, who came to the ring wearing a wolf mask, was making his Middleweight debut after campaigning at the Junior Middleweight division. His first test was Alantez Fox who at Middleweight has an unusually tall frame of 6’4″.

The two exchanged heavy blows from round one. Andrade was consistently landing the harder and cleaner punches on Fox. You could see sweat fly from the ferocity of the punches.

In the seventh round Fox landed a straight right hand that sent Andrade down. Andrade used his footwork to regain his composure and finish the round strong.

Andrade had a fire lit under him and attacked Fox with more ferocity as the fight went into the final stretch.

Fox continued to come forward and try and pressure Andrade, but Andrade’s footwork and counters were too much for Fox.

Andrade was declared the victor by unanimous decision.

 

Jezreel Corrales versus Alberto Machado

Corrales was stripped of his WBA crown earlier due to him failing to make weight. Some wondered whether the weight advantage would help him against the tough and gritty Machado. The Turning Stone Resort and Casino was loud for the main event as many Puerto Ricans came to support Machado in his quest for his first world title.

Corrales came out swinging as is is style. Machado took his punches well, but from round one it was destined to be a slugfest as both men kept coming forward.

Corrales drew first blood as he landed a flush left hook on Machado’s chin. The punch short-circuited his nervous system and took him down to the mat.

Machado came back and used his footwork to buy some time until he fully regained his composure. The fight then quickly turned into a wrestling match as Corrales took down Machado with a tackle.

The two began exchanging insults with one another in the ring. They plainly did not like each other one bit and were more determined to knock the other fighter out. Machado began timing Corrales’ aggression and started his comeback.  In the eighth round lightning struck as Machado landed a thunderous right hook on Coralles’ temple.

Your winner by KO in the 8th round and new WBA Super Featherweight Champion, Alberto Machado.

“I won the world title for my family and Puerto Rico,” Machado said in the post-fight interview.

Dominion Energy Charity Classic Powers on Drama Down the Stretch

October 23, 2017

Story and Photos by Kent Paisley Richmond, Va.— Bernhard Langer came to the par 5 18th at The Dominion Energy Charity Classic Sunday searching for a birdie to force a playoff. He had parred the hole the day before. Instead, the titan of the Champions Tour rolled home a 12-foot right to left downhill slider for eagle, […]

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Story and Photos by Kent Paisley

Richmond, Va.— Bernhard Langer came to the par 5 18th at The Dominion Energy Charity Classic Sunday searching for a birdie to force a playoff. He had parred the hole the day before.

Instead, the titan of the Champions Tour rolled home a 12-foot right to left downhill slider for eagle, claiming the first round of the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs and his 35th championship of his Champions Tour career.

“It was very exciting to come down the 18th and to make an eagle,” Langer said.  “I was missing so many putts today, and I finally made one when it mattered.”


Langer and Singh Duel Early

Langer opened the day with a three-shot lead over Vijay Singh, who played an immaculate ten-under-par over the final 15 holes Saturday.

The two World Golf Hall of Famers were the final pairing of the day, and set for a duel for the title.

Langer expanded that lead to four strokes with a birdie at the first.

The German native failed to add a red number to his scorecard for another 12 holes.

Singh capitalized early on with Langer’s inability to convert birdies, closing the gap with birdies at 3, 5, & 6, trailing by one stroke heading to the par 4 seventh.

 

Singh’s Wheels Fall Off

On the seventh green Singh stared down an 18-footer for birdie, which he missed high side of the cup. The ball parked right behind the cup, a foot-and-a-half away.

It was not Singh’s swollen ankle that failed him. Nor his right knee, which needs to be replaced.

Every golfer’s nightmare, the cursed yips, did him in.

He missed the one-and-a-half footer, carding a bogey. He did not make another putt outside three feet until the 18th, where he converted a birdie from 12 feet.

He finished the tournament tied for third at -12, alongside Kenny Perry and Billy Mayfair.

The yips struck again later on in the tournament at a critical juncture.

 

Verplank Charges

Scott Verplank sat five back of the lead at the start of the day, tied for fourth place at -9.

He sat with plenty of Schwab Cup Points to spare to advance into the next round of the playoffs.

He could not have foreseen the struggle the groups in front of him had, methodically going about his business.

He posted the exact same score on the front and back nine from moving day, turning in another 33/33 for a -6 round.

Verplanck had an up and down final stretch, with plenty of moments remaining in his head on his plane flight back home.

On the 15th hole, the tournament moved the tee box to make the hole 284 yards. Verplank elected to go to an iron off the tee, laying up and carding a par on the hole.

He followed up with a gem of a 16th, going driver-three wood to 15 yards from the pin on the par 5.

He had about five paces of green to work with, and parked his wedge shot after one hop to four feet for his birdie.

At the 18th, another par 5, he went driver-hybid to a tough back left position. With the pin back right and sloping away from him, he had to pick the ball perfectly to get it to hold.

Verplanck stopped his ball on a dime from the slippery angle to set up another four-footer.

He followed with a case of the yips.

The ball missed right after the pushed putt, and he settled for par.

“You know what, if I won 35 times, I probably would have chipped it in or got it up and down,” Verplanker explained.

At -15, he held the clubhouse lead, with Langer on the 17th one stroke back.

 

Langer Grinds to the 18th

Langer carded his first bogey of the week on the 8th  hole. He avoided a bogey on the 6th with a resilient up and down from 75 yards after dropping a ball into the hazard.

Langer recorded his second birdie of the day on the 13th, and his tee shot made it look as if he still had more grinding to do.

He sat 130 yards out on the 347-yard hole after yanking his tee shot left into the thick Bermuda rough. The ball nestled down, with about a fourth of the ball visible from the top of the rough.

Langer had no trees in the way, and in spite of the rough, fired a pin seeker, the ball rolling to four feet above the flag.

The yips, which pervaded his opponent’s games, did not find Langer, as he knocked home the short birdie.

He bogeyed 14 from just outside the greenside bunker, missing a ten-footer for par. He scrambled for par at the 16th, and missed a 12-footer for birdie on the par 3 17th.

 

The Final Three Strokes

The 516-yard par 5 closing hole finished as the easiest scoring hole of the day, with players averaging half a stroke under par.

Langer piped his drive down the center of the fairway. He was stuck between clubs for his second shot, a two hybrid and a three wood.

He elected to hit a cut three wood, resulting with the ball twelve feet from the cup for the eagle and the win.

“You never know until it goes in,” Langer said.

It dropped dead in the heart of the cup.

The celebration was on from there, as Langer secured his sixth championship of the year out of twenty four events on the season.

 

The Field Shrinks

The top 54 players in Charles Schwab Cup points advanced to the Powershares QQQ Championship in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

Fran Quinn and David McKenzie played their way into the field, from 59th and 57thto 53rd and 54th in points, respectively. Quinn carded an impressive 66, including an eagle on the 18th, to punch his ticket to California.

Larry Mize and Mark Brooks fell out of the second-round field, finishing at -2 and -1 respectively.

The Powershares QQQ Championship takes place next weekend, with the Charles Schwab Playoffs concluding November 10th-12th at Phoenix Country Club in Arizona.

Birdies for Charity

While most are focused on the quality of golf at the opening round of the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, Birdies for Charity organizes itself to capitalize on that quality of play.

The proceeds from the Dominion Charity Classic went to Virginia Values Veterans Program and Richmond Fisher House, both programs assisting veterans in the Richmond area.

But fans can contribute as well through Birdies for Charity.

Birdies for Charity was originally conceived at the John Deere Classic, a PGA tour event.

In 1992, the tournament organizer offered the person closest to guessing the number of birdies converted by the field a free car, in exchange for a donation per birdie made.

The model delivered six times the amount expected to be raised, and has been expanding ever since.

Birdies for Charity has 122 charities under its umbrella this year. While the charities are primarily based in Richmond, there are charities from out of state as well, such as Saratoga War Horse in New York.

Fans are offered two ways to donate. They can either use a flat fee, or a donation made for every birdie in the tournament.

The PGA tour matches 10 percent of any donation made to a charity listed.

Monica Mitchell, the organizer of the Dominion Energy Charity Classic’s Birdies for Charity, explained that participation rose from last year, but that was due to the platform starting operations too late last season.

Shes aid a majority of contributions are flat fee donations, as charities reach out to their donors, recommending using the Birdies for Charity platform to capitalize on the extra 10 percent contribution from the PGA tour.

Currently, they have collected $55,000 in flat fees for various charities. The amount collected from per birdie amounts will be calculated after the conclusion of the tournament.

There were 584 birdies recorded last year over the three round tournament. The field expanded from 54 players last year to 72 players this year. Through two rounds this year, 526 birdies are posted.

Fans can donate at the tent in the Fan Experience Zone, or online, following this link.

Record-tying Moving Day in Richmond

October 23, 2017

Richmond, Va. —The top of the leaderboard delivered historic numbers on moving day at the opening tournament of the Champions Tour Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, the Dominion Energy Charity Classic. Vijay Singh and Bernhard Langer tied the course record at The Country Club of Virginia, carding 63 apiece. “I’m playing ready. It’s a lot of fun,” […]

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Richmond, Va. —The top of the leaderboard delivered historic numbers on moving day at the opening tournament of the Champions Tour Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, the Dominion Energy Charity Classic.

Vijay Singh and Bernhard Langer tied the course record at The Country Club of Virginia, carding 63 apiece.

“I’m playing ready. It’s a lot of fun,” Langer explained. “Hitting a lot of fairways, a lot of greens, giving myself opportunities, and today was pretty special.”

 

Langer’s Dominance

Bernhard Langer has owned the Champions Tour the last three years, as he is searching for his fourth consecutive Charles Schwab Title. He finished as the runner up the three seasons prior. Langer comes off a disappointing T-11 finish last week at the SAS Championship in North Carolina.

The 60-year-old German native firmly bounced back from that performance, with five birdies yesterday, and nine birdies today. For the tournament, he has yet to record a bogey enroute to his leading score of -14. He has hit 91.7 percent of greens in regulation, leading the field.

Langer strung birdies together beautifully across the day, striking them back-to-back three times over the course of the afternoon. His round was highlighted by his second birdie of the day at the par 3 fourth. From 159 yards, his tee shot rolled just outside the right side of the cup for a tap in two-footer for birdie.

Langer’s bid for the course record was shut down by a missed eight-foot slider for birdie on the par 5 18th green. He holds a comfortable three shot lead over World Golf Hall of Famer Vijay Singh.

 

Singh Rallies

Singh sat at one over through three holes, and one under par for the tournament. He had been reviewing his swing mechanics with his caddy on his IPhone on the driving range.

His left ankle swollen like a balloon.

A right knee that needs to be replaced.

Yet he responded by firing off four birdies in a row.

“I missed a very short putt there (the third hole)” Singh said, “and made two long putts, and then hit the par five I got it on in two.”

The Hall of Famer capped off the front side with a birdie on the 9th, to turn in four for the opening nine.

Singh punctuated his round with a gorgeous up and down from the green side bunker on the 18th from 40 feet out, his bunker shot trickling past the cup for an east tap in to cap off his 63.

In spite of Singh’s incredible performance, he holds just a one-stroke lead over Joe Durant, who carded another five under on the day to sit at 10 under par in third place.

 

The Playoff Bubble

The Dominion Energy Charity Classic is the opening tournament of three of the Champions tour Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs. The top 72 players from the money list qualify for the tournament, with the second tournament field cut down to 54.

The points are determined by money earned, dollar for dollar. In the Cup Playoffs, the points are worth double the amount of cash won.

Larry Mize entered the tournament at 53rd in the money list, and is projected to drop back to 56th if his current place of T-45 holds. Mize shot one under for the second consecutive round.

David McKenzie is now projected at 55th, moving up from 57th after shooting up to T-17. McKenzie currently holds a 17,077 projected point advantage over Mize.

 

Notes

Miguel Angel Jimenez finished the day eagle-birdie-eagle to post two under for the day. His stretching routine is always worth another view. He holds two of the nine eagles made so far at the Dominion Energy Charity Classic.

The course’s average round dropped from 71.1 to 69.4, the field taking advantage of perfect scoring conditions. Only seven players posted rounds above par.

Tomorrow, the first tee time is at 8:10 A.M. EST. Langer and Singh are the final pairing, teeing up at 1:07 P.M.

Bellator 185: A Night of Surprises

October 23, 2017

Story and photos by Jose Cuevas Uncasville, Conn. — Bellator 185 was brimming with anticipation for the long-awaited debut of Gegard Mousasi Friday night at Mohegan Sun. Mousasi was a former UFC Middleweight title contender and had fought some of the best in the world. The crowd was excited to see boxing sensation Heather Hardy continue her foray into the world of […]

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Story and photos by Jose Cuevas

Uncasville, Conn. — Bellator 185 was brimming with anticipation for the long-awaited debut of Gegard Mousasi Friday night at Mohegan Sun. Mousasi was a former UFC Middleweight title contender and had fought some of the best in the world. The crowd was excited to see boxing sensation Heather Hardy continue her foray into the world of MMA. The night was full of surprises, which tells you that anything is possible in the MMA Cage.

 

Results

Here is the fight card with the result of each bout.

Preliminary Bouts:
Dean Hancock 
defeated John Beneduce via TKO (Punches) in Round 1, time: 3:38

Pete Rogers Jr. defeated Timothy Wheeler via Submission (Guillotine Choke) in round 1, time 0:37

Joaquin Buckley defeated Venicius De Jesus via Split Decision

Costello Van Steenis defeated Steve Skrzat via TKO (Severe Elbows) Round 1, time: 2:52

Jordan Young defeated Alec Hooben via Submission (Triangle Choke) Round 1, time: 2:44

 

Don Shainis defeated Matt Denning via TKO (Severe punches) Round 1, time: 4:50

Vovka Clay defeated Frank Sforsza via Submission (Guillotine Choke) Round 2, time: 1:17

Kevin Carrier defeated Jose Antonio Perez via Unanimous Decision
Main Card Bouts:


Lisa Blaine
 defeated Ana Julaton via Split Decision

Ryan Quinn defeated Marcus Surin via Unanimous Decision

Kristina Williams defeated Heather Hardy via TKO (Doctor Stoppage after Severe Injuries) Round 2, time 2:00

 

Neiman Gracie defeated Zak Bucia via Submission (Neck Crank) Round 2, time 2:27

Gegard Mousasi defeated Alexander Shlemenko via Unanimous Decision

 

Notable Fights

 

Lisa Blaine versus Ana Julaton

 

Lisa Blaine versus Ana Julaton was a test of grit for both women. Julaton dominated the first half of the fight with her control of range and striking. She was also comfortable exchanging holds on the mat.

Blaine managed to wrestle Julaton to the mat in the later part of the fight and land some strikes. The rounds were hotly contested but she swayed the judges in her favor heading into the third and final round.

The third round was hotly contested. Blaine went into second gear to try to out-will her opponent.The fight ended in the center of the ring with both trying to get the upper hand and squeeze a decision or land a knockout. Blaine ultimately swayed the judges for a close but hard-fought split decision victory.


Kristina Williams versus Heather Hardy

Heather Hardy entered the cage for her second ever MMA Bout and many expected her to continue her winning ways. Hardy was the favorite in this fight as she has been positioned to be a star in Bellator. However, Kristina Williams in her pro debut had other plans.

From round one Williams asserted her dominance by exchanging with Hardy. Hardy had no answers to Williams’ arsenal of strikes and kicks.

As the second round commenced Williams rushed Hardy and continued to beat and batter her. The fight ended in the secnd round with a vicious headkick that forced the cageside doctor to examine Hardy’s wounds.


Gegard Mousasi versus Alexander Shlemenko

The main event was Gegard Mousasi’s highly anticipated Bellator debut against Alexander Shlemenko. The story driving this bout was how would Mousasi be able to stand toe to toe with the very tough, rugged, and hard-hitting Shlemenko. It was not an easy debut fight, despite Mousasi being a highly regarded fighter.

The fight began with Mousasi out-wrestling Shlemenko and continuously trying to lock in a rear naked choke.

However, Shlemenko showed his power and sneaked in a strike that formed a mouse on Mousasi’s right eye. The eye immediately began to swell grotesquely.

As the fight progressed Shlemenko began focusing on Mousasi’s eye. Mousasi was on his back foot trying to protect himself from Shlemenko’s scary strength. Mousasi had success on the mat, but Shlemenko successfully defended his rear naked choke attempts.

Heading into the third Shlemenko took control as Mousasi was backpedaling away from him. Shlemenko even had success on the mat as Mousasi seemed exhausted and hurt. Many in the audience believed Shlemenko won the fight as he was thoroughly in control in the third and final round.

But the winner was Mousasi by unanimous decision. The crowd was irate as many believed Shlemenko had won. Both men had to be taken to the hospital after the fight for further evaluation.

Syracuse Football Upsets #2 Clemson

October 14, 2017

Story by Jude Allume Photos by Kristin O’Grady SYRACUSE, N.Y. — For many, Friday the 13th is known as an unlucky day. For the Clemson Tigers, the day lived up to its reputation as the previously unbeaten Tigers were upset for their first loss of the season against the Syracuse Orange, 27-24. “That senior class, […]

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Story by Jude Allume Photos by Kristin O’Grady

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — For many, Friday the 13th is known as an unlucky day. For the Clemson Tigers, the day lived up to its reputation as the previously unbeaten Tigers were upset for their first loss of the season against the Syracuse Orange, 27-24.

“That senior class, three head football coaches all the things they’ve been through and to have an opportunity to have a win like that, that they’ll never forget for the rest of their lives” Syracuse head coach Dino Babers said after the game.

“Nobody believes in us except for us and that’s fine because at the end of the day, I put my pads on to play for these guys next to me” junior quarterback Eric Dungey said.

Dungey paced the Orange offense with 278 yards passing and three touchdowns through the air to go along with 61 rushing yards.

Linebacker Parris Bennett led the Orange defense with a team high nine tackles including a big sack on a potential scoring drive for the Tigers, knocking them outside of the 20 yard line to the 27.

The win brings Syracuse to 4-3 (2-1 ACC), their first time with a winning record since mid-September. The loss drops the Clemson Tigers to 6-1 (4-1 ACC).

 

The Orange Come Out Swinging

 Syracuse has recently been criticized for starting games slowly and doing too little, too late in games to stand a real chance for victory, as seen in its last two close loses to LSU (35-26) and NC State (33-25). This game proved to be much different from the first drive.

“I think it was an overall team effort and I’m really, really proud of the young men” Babers said.

The Orange received the opening kickoff and drove the ball 72 yards in three minutes and 16 seconds. The drive was capped off by a screen pass from Dungey to running back Dontae Strickland for a 23-yard touchdown and the early 7-0 lead.

The Tigers responded quickly, scoring in only one minute and seven seconds. A Syracuse unsportsmanlike conduct penalty set them up with great field position, as they went 62 yards in three plays to score and tie things up.

The Orange punted on its next possession, giving the Tigers the ball at the 37 yard line and a chance to take the lead. The Tigers moved the ball at will, as Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant was 5-5 passing on the drive for 46 yards. Once the Tigers reached the red zone, the Orange defense stepped up, forcing the Tigers to settle for a field goal try. Unfortunately for the Tigers, the field goal attempt was missed and the score remained tied.

On its next possession, the Orange capitalized on the Tigers’ missed opportunity. After a 14-yard pass to Steve Ishmael, Dungey threw deep to Ervin Phillips, connecting for the 66-yard touchdown and again giving the Orange the lead at 14-7.

 

Orange Fumbles Golden Opportunity

 The teams traded punts for the next three possessions until Syracuse got the ball again with 11:59 left in the second quarter. The Orange started at the six yard line, but that didn’t deter them from running their normal offense as they moved the ball quickly and with ease, taking advantage of two Tiger penalties that extended the drive. With second down and six yards to go on the Clemson 20 yard line, a false start penalty was called on the Orange, starting the downward spiral.

On the next play, Dungey was sacked for a five yard loss. That was followed by another penalty for offensive pass interference leaving the Orange third down and 31 yards to go. The drive ended for the Orange with a fumble by Strickland. The Tiger’s Tanner Muse scooped up the ball and returned it 63 yards for the score. A drive that seemed to be leading to a two score lead for the Orange quickly turned into a tied game at 14 all.

The Orange again took the lead with a field goal before halftime, going into the locker room up 17-14.

 

Clemson Sticks Around

 Though Syracuse had plenty of opportunities to pull away in this game, Clemson put up a fight. The fight became a lot harder when starting quarterback Kelly Bryant left the game at the end of the first half with a concussion, leaving redshirt freshman Zerrick Cooper to lead the offense for the second half.

Immediately, the Orange applied pressure on the new quarterback in an attempt to make sure he never got comfortable in the pocket. It worked on the first drive of the half as the Tigers ended up punting. On their next drive however, the Clemson coaching staff combined great starting field position at the Orange 42 yard line with a series of short throws that moved the ball and got Cooper rolling.

Though the drive fizzled out, the Tigers added a field goal to tie the game at 17. When the Orange got the ball, it used a 45-yard run from Dungey to set up a 30- yard pass to Ishmael for the score, putting the Orange up 24-17.

Again, Clemson responded. On the kickoff, the ball bounced out of bounds, setting the Tigers up at their 35 yard line to start. After two plays, on first down from the 48, Tiger running back Travis Etienne ran the ball for a gain of 52 yards and a touchdown, again tying the score, this time at 24.

 

Take Your Time 

With the ball to start the fourth quarter, the Orange changed from its usually high-paced offense to a slower tempo focusing on ball control. This was accompanied with a heavy run offense to keep the clock moving. The Orange burned over five minutes off the clock on the way to picking up a field goal to put Syracuse up 27-24.

Clemson fought all game to keep the score close in hopes of eventually overtaking the lead and responded again. This time, the clock was a factor as the Tigers were running out of time. After picking up, two first downs in the first four plays of their drive, the Orange needed a big play to stop the Tiger momentum. It came in the form of a sack from Chris Slayton, leading to a loss of four yards. The drive stalled, and the Orange took over on downs at the 41 yard line with 6:10 left in the game and the Tigers with two timeouts left.

From there, the plan was to run the ball and kill the clock. The plan worked to perfection as the Orange slowly moved the ball and picked up two first downs with the clock down to 2:29, forcing Clemson to use its timeouts.

On third down and eight to go, the Orange needed to convert or possibly have to punt the ball away and give the Tigers another chance to come back.  Dungey rushed for eight yards, stretching backwards to reach the first down marker. After the officials reviewed the spot of the ball, the ruling on the field of a first down was upheld, essentially ending the game. After a few kneels, the game was over and the Orange pulled off the upset, an accomplishment linebacker Zaire Franklin said he couldn’t believe.

“For some reason, I didn’t believe that the game was over when we got that first down” Franklin said. “I’m still in my mind like we’re going to have to go out and stop them from getting a field goal, whatever it is, whatever reason I didn’t believe the game was over until they were taking a knee and I was like ‘damn, that’s it.’”

 

The 12th Man

 The Carrier Dome had its biggest crowd of the season with over 42,475 counted in attendance. The home crowd was into the game and loud all night.

“How about the fans tonight?” Babers exclaimed after the game. “Are you kidding me? We have a DOME. No one else does. Neener neener neener. We’re loud, we’re crazy up here and that’s the atmosphere that it should be every single time that we come to the Carrier Dome.

“That was a good football team and I thought the fans were great, they were fantastic, they were the 12th man on defense and they made it very difficult for their offense to communicate.”

“It was loud,” linebacker Parris Bennett said. “Third down was rocking, you could tell those guys they could hear it, they could feel it. We fed off the energy. I feel like guys felt more confident. It felt like everybody was rooting for us and cheering for us and believing in us. When you get as loud as that, guys feel like they’re on top of the world”

 

The Numbers Tell the Story

 Clemson has one of the best defenses in the nation with averages of 264.33 total yards per game, 165.5 passing yards per game, 98.83 rushing yards per game and 11.33 points per game. The Syracuse offense blew all of these numbers out of the water with 440 total yard, 278 pass yards, 162 rushing yards and putting up more than double the average points the Tiger defense had allowed with 27.

The Clemson offense came into the game averaging 233.67 yards passing per game, 237.33 yards rushing per game, 471 total yards per game and 35 point per game. The Syracuse defense held the Tigers under all of these averages with 204 yards passing, 113 yards rushing and allowing only 24 points, seven of which came as a result of the Tiger defense scoring.

Conversely, prior to the game, the Syracuse defense had allowed its opponents averages of 357 total yards per game, 242 passing yards per game and 131 rushing yards per game, all numbers they held the Tigers under.

The Orange never trailed the Tigers in the game.

 

Up Next

 Syracuse travels to Miami next week to face the #11 ranked Hurricanes on Saturday at 3:30 PM.

The Tigers limp back home with some concerns at quarterback as they look to rebound from the loss. They have a bye week before hosting the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Saturday, Oct 28.

 

 

Orange Holds Off Panthers for First ACC Win

October 8, 2017

Story by Corey Crisan Photos by India Timpton SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Orange held off late comeback efforts by the Pitt Panthers and won a close one, 27-24 in front of a Homecoming crowd at the Carrier Dome Saturday afternoon.  Syracuse(3-3, 1-1 ACC) moved to the .500 mark on the season with its first […]

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Story by Corey Crisan

Photos by India Timpton

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The Syracuse Orange held off late comeback efforts by the Pitt Panthers and won a close one, 27-24 in front of a Homecoming crowd at the Carrier Dome Saturday afternoon.  Syracuse(3-3, 1-1 ACC) moved to the .500 mark on the season with its first league win. Pitt fell to 2-4 (0-2  ACC).

“It was good to finally get that monkey off our back,” Syracuse head coach Dino Babers said after the game. “It was our third close game all the way in the second half. To see the team rally together, and not only have all three units play well in the last five minutes.

Quarterback Eric Dungey passed for two touchdowns and ran for a third and tight end Ravian Pierce had a breakout game for the Orange. The junior college transfer in his first season with Syracuse finished with nine catches for 99 yards, both career-highs.

“It was exciting. The kids are excited, and we’re happy that we’re able to do our part and make sure everybody had a happy Homecoming,” Babers said.

 

 

Fast start for the Orange

Last season, the Panthers and Orange battled to the finish in a wild contest at Heinz Field to end the regular season. Pitt won 76-61 in a game that featured 621 combined rushing yards, 19 touchdowns, and 1,312 total yards. In the fifth week of the 2017 season, the ACC rivals wrote a different script.

What looked to be a promising start for the Orange resulted in just three points. On the first drive, quarterback Dungey found his top target – Steve Ishmael – for a 34-yard gain that put Syracuse into Pitt territory. But Ishmael was called for offensive pass interference on an apparent touchdown catch and the Orange settled for a field goal on its first drive to lead 3-0 with 11:30 to play in the first.

Syracuse then forced a three-and-out as Pitt gained only six yards.

The quarter featured six three-and-outs and six combined punts and ended with Syracuse ahead by that 3-0 score.

 

Turning the tables

Pitt scored on the first play of the second quarter a 35-yard touchdown by Jordan Whitehead (who is listed as a defensive back on the team’s roster) and an extra point capped off a five-play, 54-yard drive that took 2:33 off the clock.

Syracuse responded by gaining a first down on the next drive, but the Orange had to punt again.

Pitt then added three more points on a 49-yard field goal by Alex Kessman with 7:26 to play until the half and led 10-3.

Syracuse showed life at the end of the first half. A 21-yard touchdown from Dungey to Devin C. Butler tied this one up at 10-10 with 0:34 to play in the half. This play capped off a nine-play, 93-yard drive that took 2:17 to play.

Syracuse and Pitt were tied, 10-10, at halftime.

 

Game of halves

On their first drive to start the second half, the Panthers padded their lead to 13-10 with a 42-yard field goal by Alex Kessman.  The Orange finally broke through the stout Pitt defense as Dungey scored on a 10-yard keeper. Syracuse lead 17-13 after a 13-play, 75-yard drive.

Cole Murphy then tacked on a 38-yard field goal with 2:12 to play in the third. Syracuse led by a touchdown, 20-13. That field goal capped off a 10-play, 52-yard drive.

Pitt QB Max Browne went out with an injury after being sacked with under 7:00 to go in the third quarter and Ben DiNucci took over.

Syracuse held the 20-13 lead after three quarters.

 

A Strong Finish

Kessman continued to boost the Panthers as he nailed a 56-yard field goal to cut the Orange lead to 20-16 just five seconds into the fourth quarter.

With 11:07 to play in regulation, Dungey connected with Ishmael for a 35-yard score to extend the Orange lead to 27-16. Ishmael entered Saturday’s game as the nation’s leader in catches (51) and he was second in yards (632). He finished the day with five receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown.

The Panthers found a way to make it interesting in the middle of the fourth quarter. Running back Qadree Ollison ran one in from 19 yards to cut the Orange lead to 27-22. Pitt converted a two-point attempt on a Whitehead rush to make it a 27-24 Orange lead with 7:15 still to play.

Syracuse’s next drive stalled on the Pitt five-yard line when the Orange went for it on fourth and one and Dungey’s shovel pass to Pierce fell incomplete.

The Panthers had a chance to win it with less than a minute to play but gained only ten yards on their final drive, and Syracuse escaped with the 27-24 victory.

 

Notes

The game took 3:33 to play, and 33,290 were counted inside the Carrier Dome to witness the Orange victory.

For Syracuse, Dungey went 33-49 in the air with 365 yards. He also rushed a dozen times for a net gain of 48 yards.

Dontae Strickland was Syracuse’s leading rusher on Saturday. He carried the ball 25 times for 81 yards.

The Pitt-SU rivalry goes back to 1916 and the teams have played each other every year since 1955, starting as independents, then as Big East members and now in the ACC. Pitt is the only Coastal Division team that SU, an Atlantic Division team, plays every season.

“They’re our rival,” Babers said. “If we’re going to play them every single year, we need to play them like a rival.”

 

What’s Next

The Syracuse Orange will turn around in a short week to welcome a national powerhouse into the Carrier Dome. The second-ranked Clemson Tigers (6-0, 4-0 ACC) will come to Syracuse for a nationally-televised contest that kicks off at 7:00 p.m. EDT Friday. The game can be viewed on ESPN.

Pitt returns home to take on the No. 20 North Carolina State Wolfpack (5-1, 3-0 ACC) at noon on Saturday.