SU vs. Elon

Roberson's 20 points push Orange past Phoenix

A crucial turnover allowed Syracuse to pull away mid-way through the second half.

Syracuse forward Tyler Roberson hit a jump shot to put the Orange up by six with about nine minutes to play in the second half of Saturday night's men's basketball game against the Elon Phoenix (2-2). Directly after, teammate Michael Gbinije stole the Phoenix inbound pass and knocked down a three-pointer. A five point play in a matter of seconds effectively put the game away and Syracuse would go on to win 66-55 in their third straight game in the Carrier Dome.  

"We're winning because we're a little bit better than these teams."
- Jim Boeheim


Roberson had a game-high 20 points and 16 rebounds while Gbinije tallied 16 points of his own. 


The game had been a string of runs. The Orange jumped out to an early double-digit lead, 12-2, by the 14 minute mark of the first half. From there, they fell into a funk, and allowed the Phoenix to tie the game at 19 with 4:37 remaining in the first half.


With the game tied at 20, the Orange would go on a 9-0 run. Tyler Lydon led it off with a sweet move under the rim; he jumped over a defender with a Kareem-like hook and even though it spun around he rim, it looked like it was going in the whole time. It did. Roberson followed up with a pair of buckets including an and-one. 


Heading into the second half down 29-23, Elon guard Eddy Luke would tie the game at 34 apiece with a three-pointer from the top of the arc and 16:20 left. The game would go tit-for-tat from there, and the fourth and final tie of the game would come at 39 when Syracuse's Trevor Cooney landed a jump shot. 


That was the first two points of a Syracuse 10-0 run that would eventually seem them lead 47-39 with 11:06 left in the second half. 


Dainan Swoope led the Phoenix offense from the point, scoring 12 points on four three-pointers. Elon attempted more than double the three-pointers than Syracuse, 33 to 15. However, Syracuse shot 40% from three-point land while Elon only sank 24% of its three-point shots. The Orange were bigger-bodied than the Phoenix who couldn't consistently penetrate the inside. 


Syracuse began to drain the shot-clock with under three minutes. Lydon swatted away a potential layup and the rest of Elon's attempts at the basket in the final minutes were off. 


The Orange bested Elon in shot percentage, 39 to 31, and they also out rebounded them 45 to 37. Syracuse was sent to the foul line 25 times, hitting 20 of them, while Elon only made five out of its 10 foul shots. On the other side, Syracuse turned the ball over 15 times compared to Elon's 13.


Syracuse is now 3-0 in the young season, and will head to the Bahamas to compete in the Battle 4 Atlantis which also features Charlotte, Connecticut and Michigan. 


"We're winning because we're a little bit better than these teams," Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. "I wouldn't necessarily say a lot better, we gotta get better, that's for sure, and the tournament will help us."


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