SU Basketball: Syracuse vs LeMoyne

White leads Syracuse men's basketball past Le Moyne in final exhibition

Graduate transfer scores 24 points, hits six 3-pointers as SU tops Dolphins, 97-64

Andrew White III had 24 points, Tyus Battle had 17 points, and John Gillon chipped in 14 as the Syracuse Orange men’s basketball team relied on newcomers to topple LeMoyne College, 97-64, in its final exhibition game on Tuesday night at the Carrier Dome.

White hit a 3-pointer on Syracuse’s first possession of the game and he didn’t slow down. He finished six of 10 from long range and shot 67 percent from the field. White was also a factor on the defensive end, picking up two steals.  

Photo: Perry Aston

White, a graduate transfer from Nebraska, attributed part of his success so far to the culture surrounding the Syracuse basketball program.

“Here you go into every game expecting to win,” White said. “You have a fan base that is expecting you to play late into the tournament every year. Those kind of expectations kind of help me be at my best every day in practice.”

Battle backed up his stellar Syracuse debut with another strong exhibition performance. He shot 40 percent from behind the arc and he often showed off his speed and athleticism, specifically on one transition drive when he went through the legs, performed a stutter step, and finished in traffic. He ran the floor well and was often rewarded. On a play later in the game, Battle broke away for an easy layup off an assist from guard Frank Howard. Following the game, White praised Battle’s performance.

“I ask and expect the best of myself every day in practice just because I know I have another good player faced against me every day,” White said.

Gillon and Howard are vying for major minutes at the point this season and both played well again Tuesday. Howard got the start for the second straight exhibition and finished with 11 points and seven assists, while Gillon added two assists to his 14 points.

SU head coach Jim Boeheim was impressed with both players following the game and said there may be times when the two share the floor this season.

“I thought Johnny and Frank combined to play very well together,” Boeheim said.

While the new guys led the way, Tyler Lydon was quiet. He did not score until the end of the first half and finished with eight points. But, Lydon was a force on the glass, collecting 10 rebounds. 

“I was getting good looks the whole game and being aggressive and stuff like that, but it’s just a matter of knocking them down,” Lydon said.

It wasn’t all bad for LeMoyne. The Dolphins did a lot of things well. Guard Tanner Hyland had 18 points, while guard C.J. Asuncion-Byrd added 15. LeMoyne seemed to figure out Syracuse’s press, and they attacked the middle of the zone, which opened up passes to the wings for open shots and drives.

“Our defense, particularly our press, was not good,” Boeheim said.

Syracuse featured multiple lineups tonight, showing the ability to be both big and small. Matthew Moyer, however, was not in the rotation. Before the game, it was announced he would redshirt the season after missing much of the preseason with an injury.

“I think he’s a really good player. I think he missed so much time that he got out of shape and he’s still not in shape,” Boeheim said of Moyer.

Despite only two exhibition games, Syracuse has done a lot of things well and has identified things they need to touch up. White said he is excited about the direction the team is headed.

“We have a lot of firepower, lot of potential,” White said. “I think if we do what we are supposed to do throughout the course of the year, this could be a special season.”

Syracuse will open the regular season on Friday night at the Carrier Dome against Colgate. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. 

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