Syracuse controls the boards in victory

Syracuse dominated the rebounding battle in a convincing win over Florida State on Sunday.

For all of the problems Syracuse has had offensively during their four losses in five games, lost were the issues they had rebounding the basketball. The Orange were out-rebounded by one against Georgia Tech, 10 against Virginia, and two by Maryland.

The last time Syracuse won the battle on the boards was against Duke, the last time Jerami Grant was healthy.

His return against a big, physical front line of Florida State sparked an Orange performance that was surprising in its dominance. The official tally was 43-24, which included a 17-8 offensive rebounding edge.

It was a team effort that led the Orange's aggressive attack. C.J. Fair grabbed seven, Grant snagged eight, Rakeem Christmas added six and Baye Keita had seven boards in just 16 minutes.

Syracuse made rebounding a big priority, sending multiple players to the rim on nearly every shot. Grant was blocking out with ferocity, beating his man to the spot and pushing bigger forwards around. Christmas and Keita were forces, controlling the middle with their long-arms and physical play.

For a Syracuse team that seemed to be pushed around in recent weeks, it was an encouraging performance. It was the most physically Syracuse had been on the boards all season, and it showed.

With postseason play on the horizon, this type of performance can build momentum that will help the Orange throughout tournament play.


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