SU Basketball: Syracuse vs SC State

Balanced offensive attack leads Syracuse men's basketball past South Carolina State

Six Orange players reach double-figures in 101-59 win at the Carrier Dome.

The No. 18 Syracuse men’s basketball team continued its perfect start to the season behind a balanced performance, blowing out South Carolina State, 101-59.

Six Syracuse players scored in double figures as the Orange (4-0) had its highest scoring output of the season. Andrew White III once again led the team in scoring with 15 points. Since his arrival as a graduate student on campus, he has led the team in scoring and minutes played, establishing himself as a key starter and a leader of the team.

“I am in a great situation here to lead, score and be free,” White said. “I have to make sure I make the right basketball plays, be a good teammate and I think the scoring and everything will fall into place.”

Syracuse took a commanding 13-3 lead just five minutes in and never looked back. South Carolina State (1-3), a member of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, stood little chance against Syracuse’s size, length and shooting. By the end of the first half Syracuse had 17 offensive rebounds to South Carolina State’s eight.

Syracuse constantly fed the ball inside to centers DaJuan Coleman and Paschal Chukwu. Chukwu's 7-foot-2 frame allowed him to grab rebounds, block shots and control the paint. At the end of the first half he lead Syracuse with five rebounds and three blocks. He finished with seven boards and four blocks.

“[Our size is] just something else to take advantage of and I think we did that tonight,” Chukwu said.

Syracuse didn’t just go into the paint for its points. The Orange was also accurate from 3-point range, hitting six of 12 in the first half. Syracuse’s bench came up big in the half, scoring 25 of Syracuse’s 46 points. John Gillon led all Syracuse scorers with 10 points at the end of the first half and finished with 14 points in the game.

The second half saw more of the same from the Orange as it continued to outrebound and outmuscle South Carolina State in the paint. By the end of the game Syracuse had 38 points in the paint, while South Carolina State had only 22.

The Orange also used its length to steal the ball and break down the court for easy layups and dunks. SU continued to shoot well from three, outscoring South Carolina State 55-28 in the second half, capping off a dominant performance.

Despite the lopsided win, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim still feels his team has room for improvement. He expects to see more from this team as they play different opponents later in the year.

“I think we have some flexibility with this team,” Boeheim said. “We just have to keep working on it. A team with this many new faces, it’s not going to come together the first couple of weeks or three or four. It’s going to take a while.”

Syracuse will play South Carolina at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn as part of the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational on Saturday. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. 

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