Men’s Basketball Beats Syracuse in the Carrier Dome


Colgate Athletics/Rich Barnes

UPSTATE UPSET: Colgate Men’s Basketball scored 100 points in the Carrier Dome to defeat Syracuse for the first time since 1962.

On November 20, the Colgate men’s basketball team shocked the Syracuse Orange, beating them in the famous Carrier Dome 100-85, breaking a 54-game losing streak. 

Syracuse has historically been a dominant basketball program — reaching the Sweet Sixteen in last year’s NCAA tournament as well as 41 all-time NCAA tournament appearances. As Colgate’s men’s basketball Coach Matt Langel noted to Syracuse’s “The Daily Orange”, “It’s a big deal to win in the Carrier Dome for any team in the country. But for us, when it’s been however many decades since our program has been able to do it — I think since ’62 — it’s something that these guys will remember forever.”

When Syracuse leapt out to a 17-2 lead to begin the game, hope looked dim. Yet, Colgate never let the game get out of its sight. After missing its first 12 shots from three, Colgate heated up from behind the arc to take a 46-43 lead at the half. In the second half, Colgate continued to shoot well and kept Syracuse at bay defensively. Syracuse never took back the lead, and Colgate closed the game with an impressive 100 points. 

Colgate ended the game with 18 threes and shot 45.7% from the field. Returning senior guard Jack Ferguson led the scoring with 25 points, and senior guard Nelly Cummings added an impressive 18 points and 7 assists. Senior guard Oliver Lynch-Daniels also contributed 12 points in only 20 minutes of play.

Ferguson elaborated on the excitement of the win: “It was really cool to beat a team that Colgate hasn’t beaten in over 50 years. Since we’ve made it to the tournament two times already, we set other goals for ourselves, one of which was to beat a team like Syracuse. It does not help us reach our end goal, which is to win the Patriot League regular season and tournament, but it was awesome to cherish a moment and celebrate with my team and coaches.”

The strong win highlights the new identity Colgate has built for itself over the past few years. Praise should go to Langel – one of college basketball’s most underrated coaches who has made a name for Colgate as a mid-major program. Under Langel, Colgate has earned NCAA tournament bids in 2019 and 2021. Langel has also won three Patriot League Coach of the Year awards.

Senior guard Zach Light spoke to the importance of the coaching staff, “We knew what we were going to get from Syracuse, and our preparation and discipline showed on the court. Coach Langel, as well as the rest of the staff, have incredible experience in carrying out the game plan. Our players were focused and thoroughly enjoyed competing out there.”

“Our win against Syracuse was a great step for the program. I’m so proud of how my teammates carried themselves and represented Colgate,” senior guard Tucker Richardson added.

Another big factor in the win against Syracuse was Colgate’s commitment on the boards. Colgate grabbed an outstanding 19 offensive rebounds against the Orange, with sophomore center Jeff Woodward adding five and junior forward Ryan Moffat adding four. The team continued to find ways to create second chances on offense. Overall, Colgate showed great effort and hustle around the rim, and ended the game out-rebounding Syracuse by 10. 

As Colgate looks to make another run towards the Patriot League championship, the team will carry the spirit of this game to remind themselves of the heights they can achieve.