Syracuse avoids third straight loss to Colgate with strong comeback

Chris Bell scored a career-high 25 points and Judah Mintz pitched in 23 as Syracuse used a furious rally to slip past visiting Colgate 79-75 on Tuesday.

In a long-running series between two Central New York schools, the Raiders (1-1) had lost 54 straight meetings with the Orange (3-0) prior to pulling off road upsets in 2021 and 2022. They nearly completed the hat trick Tuesday before Syracuse recovered from a 24-point deficit in the second half.

Jeff Woodward made a layup to give Colgate its biggest lead, 54-30, with 16:32 left in the contest. But over the next seven minutes, the Raiders scored only four points, allowing the Orange to climb within 58-50 on JJ Starling’s jumper with 9:38 remaining.

Soon thereafter, Mintz scored all of Syracuse’s points during an 8-2 run that brought the Orange within 66-62 with about five minutes left.

Bell tied the game at 70-70 on a 3-pointer with 1:38 remaining. Starling knocked down two free throws with 1:07 to go, and then Maliq Brown stole the ball and went in for the slam to create a four-point edge.

Nicolas Louis-Jacques’ 3-pointer with 22.5 seconds left made things interesting before Mintz iced the game with three free throws in the final 12 seconds.

Starling contributed 13 points and seven rebounds for the Orange, while Mintz rounded out his productive evening with eight assists and three steals.

Four players scored in double figures for the Raiders, led by Keegan Records’ 17 points to go along with 13 rebounds. Braeden Smith (14 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists) flirted with a triple-double for the visitors.

Colgate broke open a two-point game over the final seven minutes of the first half, using a 19-2 run to take temporary control of the contest.

Following a free throw by Smith and a layup by Records, Colgate held a 46-27 advantage. Justin Taylor knocked down a 3-pointer in the final minute to get the hosts within 16 at the break.