Orange buries Long Beach State, remains undefeated

Syracuse gets off to a fast start, pulls away from 49ers to extend Dome winning streak.

Syracuse University (9-0) poured on the points from the opening whistle, leading to an 84-53 SU win over Long Beach State (3-5) on Thursday night. Five players scored double figures for the Orange, with C.J. Fair leading the way with 16 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.

Fair, Brandon Triche and Michael Carter-Williams sparked an 11-2 run to begin the game and combined for SU's first 20 points, giving the Orange a 20-10 lead with 12:04 left in the first half. From there, Syracuse never allowed Long Beach State within six points.

“That’s what we like to do,” Carter-Williams said. “I know last year, we came out a little slow in the games. This year, we’re really trying to push the issue of starting right off the bat and getting the lead early.”

Carter-Williams, who leads the NCAA with 9.5 assists per game, finished the game with 15 points and 10 assists.

By halftime, the Orange had already amassed a 49-29 lead and looked to be running away with the game. Triche, who finished with 11 points, five assists and five rebounds, said he knew the team had broken the game open when head coach Jim Boeheim initiated a full-court press with under seven minutes remaining in the half.

“When the lead went from ten to twenty, that’s when you’re comfortable, you know that what you’re doing is working,” Triche said. “Once we put the press on, we were able to create turnovers. They didn’t handle our pressure very well, and we were able to get easy buckets."

As soon as the Orange switched to the press, the 49ers were forced to throw an unconventional inbounds pass to the opposite side of the court. This led to a turnover and dunk by Trevor Cooney, giving Syracuse a 32-21 lead with six minutes left in the half. The switch to the press has been an effective trend for Syracuse in recent games, with the press efficiently forcing turnovers that lead to transition baskets.

After halftime, the SU lead grew as high as 33 points, with all Orange players scoring and five in double figures. Jerami Grant, who did not score in double figures, was praised by Boeheim and teammates for his performance recently.

“He’s certainly proven that he can bring something to the table,” Boeheim said.

Grant finished the night with nine points and five rebounds, and has shown he can provide energy off the bench.

“He’s going out there and being productive,” Carter-Williams said. “And that’s what coach (Boeheim) loves.”

While the team as a whole played well throughout the game, Boeheim specifically brought up C.J. Fair. He said Thursday night’s performance was Fair’s best of the year.

“C.J. was really good,” Boeheim said. “He was really on the boards aggressively and I thought he did a really good job.”

Fair even went 1-1 from behind the arc, contributing to a good Syracuse effort from three-point range. Syracuse, which usually relies on the hot hand of James Southerland, went 10-28 from behind the arc, with five SU players helping the cause.

“A lot of us were knocking down shots,” Carter-Williams said. “That’s what we’re going to need.”

Syracuse returns to action on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m., to face Monmouth at the Carrier Dome.

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.