Through three games, the Orange have been unable to put two solid halves of basketball together. Today, against Charlotte, was no different.
Early in the first half, senior guard Trevor Cooney surpassed 1,000 points in his career, making him the 59th player in program history to achieve that feat. He finished with 19 points, fifteen of which came in the first half. He also dished out five assists in 36 minutes.
Freshman guard Malachi Richardson picked up two fouls in the first half, which allowed him to play only 7 minutes. In the second half, Richardson scored SU's first five points, leading to another solid outing. He finished with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
Dajuan Coleman was impressive in the first half, especially in the first 8:45 of the game. He looked quicker, stronger and more comfortable on both ends of the court. The former McDonalds All-American controlled the glass, grabbing four rebounds in the first eight minutes.
The Orange led by as many as 25 points in the first half, but took a 50-27 lead into the locker room.
The second half, as always, was a different story. The 49ers outscored the Orange 43-33 in the second half. But, again, thanks to an impressive first half, it didn't come back to bite Syracuse.
Charlotte began the second half on a 9-0 run, which brought the deficit back down to 14. Malachi Richardson got the Orange on the board in the second half, drilling a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 17:13 to play.
Michael Gbinije looked like an all-ACC guard, yet again, finishing with 26 points and 4 assists in 35 minutes. He went 9-of-11 from the floor, 6-of-8 from deep. As Gbinije goes, so do the Orange. He's their MVP thus far, but another player is quickly emerging into a star. Tyler Lydon.
Lydon, who came off the bench, finished with 18 points, 8 rebounds and 6 blocks in 26 minutes. Playing the stretch-4, Lydon hit two 3-pointers which helped spread out the offense.
"We need to spread the floor," Gbinije said after the game on ESPN. "That's what we teach on offense; spread the floor."
Frank Howard played four minutes, all coming in the first half. He finished with three rebounds. Kaleb Joseph played ten minutes, dished out two assists and grabbed a rebound. Neither guard turned the ball over.
Tyler Roberson, who came off a career-high 20 points and 16 rebounds, finished Wednesday's victory with 6 points on 3-of-10 shooting. He also grabbed 11 rebounds, which was a team-high.
Syracuse improved to 4-0 on the season. They will play (18)Connecticut tomorrow afternoon at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.