Syracuse falls to VCU in Battle 4 Atlantis, 67-55 (full coverage)

Virginia Commonwealth’s swarming defense stymied Syracuse and the Orange suffered a 67-55 loss to the Rams in the opening round of the Battle 4 Atlantis here on Wednesday.

Box score

The Rams made life miserable for Syracuse, sticking to the Orange players like flypaper.

Virginia Commonwealth forced 16 Syracuse turnovers and also held the Orange to 29% field goal shooting. Syracuse’s lineup of perimeter shooters managed to make just five of their 23 attempts from 3-point range.

The Rams’ offense wasn’t exactly a replica of the Showtime Lakers, but they found just enough success to pull away from the Orange in the second half. After making only two of its eight 3-point attempts in the first half, Virginia Commonwealth went 5-for-9 beyond the arc in the second half.

Jimmy Boeheim and Buddy Boeheim combined for 37 points. Buddy finished with 20, while Jimmy added 17. But the rest of the Syracuse lineup managed just 18 points on a combined 7-for-32 field goal shooting.

Cole Swider scored only six points on 2-for-14 field goal shooting. The 6-foot-9 forward missed all seven of his 3-point attempts. Joe Girard also suffered through a brutal shooting performance, making two of his nine field-goal attempts.

Syracuse fell to 2-2 with the loss, while VCU improved to 3-2.

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Syracuse (2-1) opens its slate at the Battle 4 Atlantis against VCU (2-2) in the first of three games at Imperial Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.

Syracuse suffered its first loss of the season to Colgate this past Saturday. The score that ended a 54-game Syracuse winning streak, was 100-85. The Orange opened strong, but ultimately could not control the Raiders from three-point range and were outrebounded.

VCU will try to rebound from a loss to Chattanooga its last time out, as the Mocs defeated the Rams 56-54. The game was a back-and-forth battle, but was decided by a short jumper from Chattanooga’s Malachi Smith with 0.4 seconds remaining.

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