Tyus Battle ends slump with 23 points in Syracuse’s win over Morehead State

first_img Published on November 10, 2018 at 10:54 pm Contact Billy: wmheyen@syr.edu | @Wheyen3 Tyus Battle pulled up from about 15 feet on the left wing with 5:20 to go Saturday. He’d made 3-of-4 shots already in the second half. He’d already surpassed his scoring total from Syracuse’s first game when he shot 30 percent. And on this particular shot, he swished it.After his feet hit the ground, Battle bobbed his head and put a small scowl on his face. The Carrier Dome roared as SU’s leading scorer from a year ago showed he was back.“Droughts happen,” Battle said. “I wasn’t worried about it. Once I got to see one go in, I knew I was fine.”Battle scored an SU-high 23 points on Saturday night in the Carrier Dome, as the No. 16 Orange (2-0) held off Morehead State (1-2), 84-70. He finished 7-for-15 from the field and 9-for-10 from the foul line as he again spent much of the game as Syracuse’s de facto point guard. After a 3-for-10 opening night, and a poor first half, Battle dropped 18 in the second half to help the Orange pull away from a persistent Eagles team.“He can score anywhere,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. “Doesn’t matter where he is.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBattle wasn’t available to speak to the media after Tuesday’s season-opener. He was out on the Carrier Dome floor, getting shots up. Saturday, he said he “always wants to get shots up,” and he just wanted to solve whatever felt “a little off” in his shot.At first, it looked like those extra shots may not have done Battle any good. He got swatted on his first shot attempt Saturday as he attacked the basket. He missed a left-block fadeaway, short. He missed at the rim, again. He missed a jumper, again. Altogether, he missed his first six shots.But then, Battle pulled up from the right elbow and swished. About a minute later, he spun toward the right baseline, pulled up, and hit again. Although he missed a floater with time winding down, Battle had seen the ball go through the basket.“Just to see those go in at the end of the half, I think really gave me momentum for the second half,” Battle said.With Frank Howard still absent due to injury, Battle’s been forced to play point guard. He felt that may have contributed to his lack of aggression in SU’s exhibitions and its season opener. But he started to change that in Saturday’s first half, even when shots weren’t falling.In the second half, the aggression began to pay off. Battle attacked the rim for two layups while being fouled, along with another bucket that came off a post up on the left block.“I was trying to be aggressive in the first half and I was trying to be aggressive in the second half,” Battle said. “Only thing that changed was I guess I made a couple more shots.”Battle continued to drive to the hoop to get to the foul line, where he was 8-for-8 in the second half. In addition to the two and-1s, three separate slashes into the lane sent Battle to the line, where each time he made his pair.“Even foul shots when you see the ball go in, it makes things a lot easier,” Battle said. “Especially when you’re looking to score the ball.”Morehead State didn’t want to go away, as the Eagles brought their deficit back to 10 points on a number of occasions late in the second half. But in the closing moments, the game was finally in hand for Syracuse.The moment against Eastern Washington when the game felt in control came much earlier. Then, on his final shot of the night, Battle broke away with 4:12 to go, and he tomahawked a dunk. When he landed, he frowned.This time, it wasn’t until the game’s final minute that the Orange’s lead wasn’t in doubt. Battle beat his man going left and sliced down the center of the lane. No defenders came to help. Battle rose up and flushed it home with two hands. He didn’t show emotion right in that moment. But afterward, Oshae Brissett said, the Orange saw their junior leader smile.“We’re all excited for him,” Brissett said. “We like seeing our guys come out of their slumps. We’re all in this together, really. We don’t want to see any of our guys down. Seeing him like that, seeing him happy, even after the game, seeing him smile after the game, really lifts us all up.” Commentscenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Remembering Kobe: In lieu of a Lakers game, fans, Hall of Famers grieve at Staples Center

first_imgDwyane Wade talked about how Bryant called him during the 2009 playoffs, asking for advice on how to attack the Celtics’ defense. Reggie Miller talked about the grudging respect he felt for Bryant after he helped dismantle the Pacers in the 2000 Finals. O’Neal spoke to the loss he felt that he wouldn’t be able to speak to Bryant at Kobe’s Hall of Fame enshrinement, which is expected to be next fall. He said he hadn’t spoken to Bryant since his retirement game in 2016, when Bryant scored 60 points.“That’s the only thing I wish,” O’Neal said, “that I could speak to him again.”Jerry West, who famously maneuvered for Bryant after being floored by a workout, said he felt like “his father” when he was running the front office for the Lakers. Although West is now a Clippers consultant, he related a time when Bryant threatened to sign with the Clippers – and West (working for Memphis at the time) talked him out of it, telling him not to play for then-owner Donald Sterling. Even after West left the Lakers in August of 2000, he remained close to Bryant and continued to advise him.“I don’t know if I can get over this,” West said, cracking. “I really don’t.” PreviousLOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 28: Fans leave condolence message on boards to pay their respects to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, 13, at a memorial set up outside of Staples Center on January 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Kobe his daughter Gianna, were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash on January 26 in Calabasas, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsPeople mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Monica rojas, Los Angeles, cries as she mourns Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Lucy Lomuro, Los Angeles, is comforted as she cries for Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)Jesse and Denise Cariaga comfort each other over the passing of Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 28: Fans continue to pay their respects to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, 13, at a memorial set up outside of Staples Center on January 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Kobe his daughter Gianna, were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash on January 26 in Calabasas, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 28: A young fan leaves a message to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, 13, at a memorial set up outside of Staples Center on January 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Kobe his daughter Gianna, 13, were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash on January 26 in Calabasas, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 28: Fans walk among memorial walls near Staples Center in honor of former NBA great Kobe Bryant who, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, died January 26 in a helicopter crash, on January 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Kobe and “Gigi” were among nine people killed in the crash in Calabasas, California as they were flying to his Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, where he was going to coach her in a tournament game. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 28: Fans continue to pay their respect to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, 13, at a memorial set up outside of Staples Center on January 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Kobe his daughter Gianna, were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash on January 26 in Calabasas, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 28: Items left by fans to pay their respects to Kobe Bryant at LA Live on January 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 28: Fans shoot baskets at a memorial wall near Staples Center in honor of former NBA great Kobe Bryant who, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, died January 26 in a helicopter crash, on January 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Kobe and “Gigi” were among nine people killed in the crash in Calabasas, California as they were flying to his Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, where he was going to coach her in a tournament game. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 28: Fans shoot baskets at a memorial wall near Staples Center in honor of former NBA great Kobe Bryant who, along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, died January 26 in a helicopter crash, on January 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Kobe and “Gigi” were among nine people killed in the crash in Calabasas, California as they were flying to his Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, where he was going to coach her in a tournament game. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 28: A fan leaves behind an item to pay respect to Kobe Bryant at LA Live on January 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 28: Fans gather to pay their respects to Kobe Bryant at LA Live on January 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 28: Items left by fans to pay their respects to Kobe Bryant at LA Live on January 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 28: Fans gather to pay their respects to Kobe Bryant at LA Live on January 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 28: Items left by fans to pay their respects to Kobe Bryant at LA Live on January 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 28: Fans leave condolence message on boards to pay their respects to Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna, 13, at a memorial set up outside of Staples Center on January 28, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Kobe his daughter Gianna, were among nine people killed in a helicopter crash on January 26 in Calabasas, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)NextShow Caption1 of 41People mourn Kobe Bryant outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, Tuesday, January 28, 2020. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)ExpandLOS ANGELES — Where there was to be a basketball game, there were dim lights and Hall of Famers sitting in chairs, shedding tears.Where there was to be cheering, there were silent, empty rows of seats.Outside Staples Center was where Lakers fans gathered – not in joy, but in grief.There was only one Kobe Bryant, and mourning his death was a similarly singular affair on Tuesday evening, when the Lakers and Clippers had been previously scheduled to play. The game was postponed out of respect for the Lakers and the Bryant family. In the L.A. Live plaza, thousands of fans, some from as far away as China, roved through memorials of all kinds to the Black Mamba and his daughter, 13-year-old Gianna Bryant, who were among nine to die in a helicopter crash in Calabasas on Sunday morning. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThere were eight wall-sized paper murals, erected by the Staples Center staff, tattooed on both sides with personal inscriptions. Hundreds of candles glimmered along metal barriers as the sun set on downtown Los Angeles. There were layers of flowers, purple and golden blossoms, laid down among inscribed jerseys, hats and basketballs. Fans left stuffed animals, balloons, action figures, Kobe Bryant shoes both new and well-worn. People had drawn portraits of Kobe and Gianna, lovingly embracing, or simply printed out pictures and framed.The grief ran all the way onto the very ground the masses walked on, where messages to Kobe and GiGi were scrawled both in chalk and in ink: “R.I.P. KOBE” or “LEGENDS LIVE FOREVER” or “THANK YOU MAMBA” or “MISS YOU GIGI”. Arena officials opened adjacent Chick Hearn Court to pedestrian traffic to allow the placement of still more memorials.There were those who adopted a game-like atmosphere, chanting “KO-BE” or “M-V-P,” and cheering on fans who shot on an office hoop set up on one of the murals. Others sat on the ground or kneeled, uttering prayers or silently weeping.Most were caught somewhere in between, wandering the makeshift memorials with the readily identifiable haze of grief around them.Inside Staples Center, that grief was being put into words by people who knew Bryant well. For a TNT special broadcast from center court, former Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal had tears trailing down his cheeks as he spoke about his often fraught relationship with Bryant, who he first met when Kobe was 17 and told him in no uncertain terms that he was going to be the best basketball player ever and “bigger than Will Smith” off the court. Their three-peat dynasty fueled by the duo was eventually torn apart by their feud. But O’Neal said their names will be forever linked, and he believes that they constituted the “most dominant, big-little, one-two punch ever.“Got two strong-minded people that are gonna get it done that way,” he said. “You’re gonna say certain things. The respect will never be lost. But when it comes to being inside the lines and win, that’s what we did.”center_img That there was no game Tuesday spoke volumes about how the Lakers, and the NBA at large, felt about Bryant’s loss.There’s precedent for the NBA canceling games, but they are rarely associated with the death of one person. The league canceled games in 1992 during the Rodney King riots; in 1999 after the Columbine shooting; in 2013 after the Boston Marathon bombing. The last time the NBA is believed to have postponed a game for the death of an individual is in 2000, when Charlotte Hornets player Bobby Phills died in a car collision the day the Hornets were supposed to take on the Chicago Bulls.Both the Lakers and the Clippers had reservations about staging a game at Staples Center just two days after Bryant’s death, two people with knowledge of the situation said. Beyond the readiness of the players, there were also questions about the ability of the hundreds of team employees and arena staff members to be able to work through grief on a short timeline. Bryant was personable and well-known, even after his retirement, and his death left many in the organization devastated.That was felt at the highest levels: General Manager Rob Pelinka was Bryant’s agent for more than a decade before accepting a Lakers role in 2017 and remained close with him – Bryant himself said the two were frequent tennis partners. Team owner Jeanie Buss considered him a close friend and advisor, and The Athletic reported that Bryant was one of the figures who urged her to consolidate her power in the franchise when she fired her brother Jim and longtime GM Mitch Kupchak. ESPN was first to report Pelinka and Buss had gone to Orange County to be with Vanessa Bryant and her surviving children.Discussions about postponing the game continued through Monday as those in the Lakers organization gauged their emotions, with the team calling in grief counselors on Monday to address employees. In the end, the league and the teams agreed that postponing the game to a later date (which has yet to be decided) would be the best strategy for all parties.Instead of their typical game prep, which would have been a morning shootaround, the Lakers came to their El Segundo practice facility in Tuesday for a light workout and a team luncheon – more for the team to be together than for any functional practice work. The gathering lasted several hours.Outside of the practice facility were more shrines: A paper mural stretched nearly court-length, with Bryant’s face in the middle of each panel. Open bottles of wine and an open can of Modelo were left as offerings among more flowers and candles.The iron gates of the facility had left a door open for fans to venture in, and here they were more mournful and silent. Purple and gold balloons danced in the wind, and staffers gently picked up vases that had tumbled after particularly strong gusts.One of the few visitors who spoke was on a video call with a friend, showing the party on the other end of the line the shrine to Bryant and Gianna. She prefaced the display: “Just don’t cry, OK?”Whether you cried or not, you were in good company.Mirjam Swanson contributed to this story. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more