(AP) — Getting potent production across the board from his Big Three of Elijah Hughes, Oshae Brissett and Tyus Battle — like he got Saturday — is going to prove a necessity more than a luxury this season, according to Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim.
Hughes, a redshirt junior guard, erupted for career highs of 22 points and 10 rebounds as the Orange dominated down the stretch during their 72-62 victory over Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind.
Brissett, a sophomore, added 19 points and 11 boards, while Battle, a junior, scored 17 points as Syracuse (10-4, 1-0) won its Atlantic Coast Conference opener.
“They have to show up,” Boeheim said of the trio. “If they don’t show up, we aren’t going to win. We depend on those guys. I think Frank (Howard) can score, too. He’s not there yet, but I’m hopeful. He averaged 15 points a game last year.”
Hughes, who has scored at least 15 points in each of his last seven outings, drained six of 13 shots from 3-point land. His previous high for made triples was four.
T.J. Gibbs netted 18 points, dished five assists and sank a career-best six 3-pointers in 13 tries for the Fighting Irish (10-5, 0-2).
John Mooney chipped in his seventh double-double with 14 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
Notre Dame, though, virtually disappeared with game on the line.
The Orange, unfazed by playing just their second true road game of the season, outscored Notre Dame 10-1 late to turn a 60-58 lead at 6:19 to go into a 70-59 spread with under one minute remaining.
The Irish made just one of their final 11 shots from the field.
“I thought the difference again, a little bit like (Tuesday’s 81-66 loss at Virginia Tech), was veteran players — men on the other team — made kind of men plays, and we were a little young in some spots trying to figure it out,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said.
“The league is very unforgiving,” Brey said, “as I told them, and as we try to grow.”
Down 60-58, the Irish, who led 38-37 at halftime, had a chance to tie the game with 5:59 remaining, but freshman Nate Laszewski missed the front end of a one-and-one.
Hughes answered by draining a left-wing 3-pointer to start Syracuse’s 10-1 spurt.
“When they closed it to two, we had guys step up,” Boeheim said. “Elijah stepped up, Oshae stepped up, and I thought Bourama (Sidibe) made two of the biggest plays of the game down there, drawing the charge, getting a blocked shot, then a couple rebounds.”
It was the 50th meeting all-time between the former Big East rivals, with the Orange owning a 29-21 advantage.
The Orange have won three straight, and with their next two games at home, have a chance to build momentum toward their next matchup against a ranked team. They haven’t played one since falling 71-59 to visiting Buffalo on Dec. 18 and won’t face another until heading to No. 1 Duke on Jan. 14.
Syracuse entered the day shooting just 43 percent from the field overall and 29.9 on 3-pointers, but made a season-best 12 baskets outside the arc in 29 attempts for 41.4 percent.
The Orange have hit 47.9 percent from the field overall during their three-game winning streak and 25-of-69 from distance for 36.2 percent.
“It’s the same shots we’ve been getting all year,” Boeheim said. “We’re just shooting it better.”
The Orange play their ACC home opener Wednesday when Clemson visits the Carrier Dome.
Colgate edges American
Jordan Burns scored 18 points with 10 assists and six rebounds and Colgate beat American 73-69 on Sunday in Hamilton.
Sa’eed Nelson put American up 68-67 with 67 seconds left.
Following a Colgate timeout, Burns buried a pullup jumper with 46 seconds left and the Raiders (9-6, 1-1 Patriot League) led the rest of the way.
Mark Gasperini missed with 23 seconds left and Marvin Bragg missed on a 3-point shot attempt with eight seconds left. Jordan made a pair of foul shots for a 71-68 lead.
American led 35-29 at halftime on 52 percent (13 of 25) shooting including 7 of 13 from 3-point range. Colgate used a 12-4 run to start the second half with Burns scoring seven for a 41-39 lead. Jack Ferguson, Will Rayman and Tucker Richardson each scored 11 for Colgate, which only led for 11 minutes of the game.
Nelson led American with 18 points, Stacy Beckton Jr. 17, Sam Iorio 13 and Gasperini 10 for American (7-6, 1-1).