SYRACUSE, N.Y. – It was a game of runs, and Syracuse had the biggest one in the game as the Orange improved to 8-0 with a 69-52 win over Indiana inside the Carrier Dome.
After Indiana had used a 13-3 run to cut the Syracuse halftime lead to just four, the Orange held Indiana without a field goal for over 11 minutes of game action during their 25-5 decisive run in the second half.
"Our defense was just good during that stretch," Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. "We hit a couple shots when they went zone. When they went to the 1-3-1. We really did a good job of moving the ball. Trevor, he hit a three. I think he made the second three. We scored both times against the zone and that really broke the game open."
Cooney was the spark during the run, with three steals, hitting three shots from beyond the arc, and throwing down a transition dunk that put the exclamation point on the dominant stretch. He finished with a game high 21 points, including 5-9 from beyond the arc. The redshirt sophomore added four steals on a night where the Syracuse backcourt was strong defensively.
The Orange zone frustrated the Hoosiers, who shot only 36.6% from the floor and committed 16 turnovers during the game. Indiana tried to force the ball inside, but the Orange bigs were up to the task.
Despite some foul trouble with Fair, Coleman and Christmas, Syracuse used strong interior defense (the Orange blocked seven shots) and physical play to force turnovers and bad shots. Noah Vonleh led Indiana with 17 points, but had only six rebounds as Syracuse tied the Hoosiers on the glass with 29 boards a piece.
"Our defense was not good the whole trip in Hawaii," Boeheim said. "It was an offensive trip. I thought, after Farrell hit a couple of threes we got him. We really did as good a job defensively as we've done in a long time this year. Probably the whole year. We didn't let them get anything."
Syracuse did come out strong with a 10-0 run to start the half. But the Hoosiers battled back behind a 13-3 run late in the first half. The Orange offense became stagnant as they looked to have some fatigue from their recent trip. Vonleh was key during that stretch, as was Yogi Farrell who hit a few shots from the outside.
Indiana was able to close the first half gap to 33-29 despite shooting only 32% from the floor.
True freshman point guard Tyler Ennis was steady throughout, outplaying his counterpart. He finished with 17 points on an efficient 6-8 shooting to go along with eight assists, seven rebounds and four steals.
C.J. Fair added 15 points and four rebounds on 5-10 shooting.
The win moves Syracuse to 8-0 on the season, including two wins over ranked opponents. The Orange face Binghamton in their next game on December 7th at 7pm eastern time.