Syracuse was able to roll for the second time in three days thanks to 17 points from Dion Waiters, and 15 from Kris Joseph and James Southerland. Fab Melo and Brandon Triche also combined for 23 points, putting up more than enough to get by Manhattan on Monday. By the time the clock read zeros, SU had a 92-56 victory on its hands.
Syracuse got off to a bit of a slow start, but things changed in a hurry. The Orange came out in man-to-man on defense, helping to force some of the 16 turnovers committed by the Jaspers in the opening half. The offense followed suit on a 31-7 run that blew the game wide open. SU would not look back on the way to a second win in three nights to begin the 2011-12 campaign.
"I thought we got going offensively ( in the first half)," coach Jim Boeheim said. "That's the best we've looked so far."
"We were pushing the ball, didn't turn it over and got some good looks."
The Orange went back to its traditional zone midway through the first half, but the result was the same. Turnovers led to easy buckets, and opportune shooting led to plenty of points.
Within the big run, Joseph had a stretch where he scored eight straight points, getting the crowd going more than usual in the Carrier Dome. Perhaps the only player to get the student section going more was the surprising Southerland.
Not only did he end up with the 15 points, but he did it on 5 of 8 shooting from the floor to go along with six rebounds, four assists and a block.
"I'm always running to the basket trying to get a dunk, so they were waiting for me to go to the rim," Southerland – who was 2 of 3 from long range – said after the game. "Until I pop out, and then they just lose me."
The trends continued in the second half, though the physical play allowed Syracuse to score from the free throw line for the first seven minutes of play.
In fact, Syracuse did not score its first field goal in the second half until the 13:17 mark. Manhattan was already in the double bonus just five minutes after the intermission. Melo, who was active and continues to impress, tipped-in a Michael Carter-Williams miss to the elation of the crowd.
"I like to play like that," Melo said of the physical play. "It's good for me, I was pushing and I never stopped."
The scoring only increased once the Orange got going in the second half, as the squad increased the lead to 40 points before the night was over. It was the perfect storm as the defense created 28 turnovers on the way to holding Manhattan to just over 30 percent shooting while the offense shot closer to 50 percent, and near 40 from three-point land.
Next up for the Orange is Albany on Tuesday as the NIT Season Tip-Off rolls along.