|1938-1939 Syracuse Orangemen|
Coach: Lew Andreas
Syracuse was returning four starters from a successful season and had several seniors on the squad. Though coach Lew Andreas would shuffle his lineup around as he always had, he would primarily start a squad with five seniors: captain Bobby Stewart and Wilmeth Sidat-Singh at forward, Mark Haller at center, and Billy Thompson and John Schroeder at guard.
The Orangemen would start out with an easy victory over Toronto. A bad night of shooting (7 field goals in 47 attempts) would cost them their next contest, losing 33-19 at Penn State. Syracuse would easily handle Clarkson, and then face Michigan in a tournament. The Orange had a 33-22 lead over Michigan with 5 minutes to play. The Wolverines would rally and an come back to win 39-37, giving Syracuse its second loss of the season.
Syracuse had a rematch against Penn State on New Year's Eve, and this time the Orangemen easily won 43-23 as Sidat-Singh had a big night with 18 points. Two games later the Orangemen would face Fordham. Syracuse jumped to an early big lead, and coach Andreas started substituting liberally to keep the score down. The Orangemen would set a school record with 21 different players playing for the varsity that night, as the team went on to win 57-22.
After the semester break, Syracuse played Georgetown in a close game. Center Mark Haller would hit a basket with 50 seconds remaining to break the tie game, and win it for the Orangemen 45-43.
Syracuse would enter the Notre Dame game on February 13th with both teams riding a nine game winning streak. The game was tied 30-30 after regulation, and both teams took two shots in overtime and made both shots. As time was expiring the score in overtime was 34-34. Ziergenhorn of Notre Dame drove to the hoop and was fouled by Bobby Twiford as time expired. With no time on the clock, and all players except the free throw shooter on the court, Ziergenhorn focused and made his first free throw, winning the game for the Fighting Irish 35-34.
The Notre Dame game was a costly one for the Orangemen. Stewart was injured early in the game and would not be available for the next game. Several of the other Orangemen were bruised and banged up. Against Army in the next game, coach Andreas started the second team to give the regulars a break. The strategy did not work as Syracuse fell behind quickly, and Andreas had to bring the regular starters (other than Stewart) in off the bench. That did not make a difference as Army would win, giving Syracuse its fourth loss of the season.
Syracuse would regroup and win the last three games of the season, finishing the season at 14-4. Sophomore Paul Kartluke would come off the bench in the Niagara game and spark the Syracuse win with an 8 point effort.
© RLYoung 2005, 2008
[Note: photo courtesy of clipping sent from Mark Haller and Jay LaFontaine]