SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Syracuse won their second consecutive game on Tuesday night, defeating Montana State, 82-60. The Orange received a plethora of contributions while improving to 9-3 on the season.
Here are four takeaways:
1. Assists: Syracuse had a season-high 22 assists on 32 made field goals on Tuesday night. The victory over Montana State was as much of a team victory as I can remember. The Orange had five players in double figures, which was the first time that has happened since 2014. Michael Gbinije, Trevor Cooney and Frank Howard each had five assists.
2. Struggles from deep continue: Syracuse continued their struggles from 3-point range on Tuesday, going 7-for-25 (28%) from deep. Gbinije and Cooney each hit three 3's, while Tyler Lydon added one. The Orange will be able to get away with overpowering lesser opponents in the non-conference schedule, however ACC play starts in less than a week. As we all know, if Syracuse continues to struggle from 3-point range during ACC play, they'll struggle to stay competitive in most games.
3. Lydon is finding his groove: Early in the season, Syracuse fans were spoiled with big performances from freshman Tyler Lydon. Now we're seeing a more consistent Lydon, which benefits everyone. In his 30 minutes of action last night, Lydon finished with 10 points and 9 rebounds. It's clear he's letting the game come to him and his numbers speak for themselves. He's turning into a consistent and reliable option for the Orange on both ends of the court.
4. Free throws: This isn't the first time, or the last, that free throws will be brought up this season. Last night, despite not affecting the outcome, the Orange shot 46% (11-for-24) from the line. Tyler Lydon went 1-for-4, which is uncharacteristic of him and Chinonso Obokoh went 1-of-5, which isn't surprising considering his lack of playing time. Again, Syracuse can get away with subpar performances against lesser opponents. But come ACC play, the Orange will need to be clicking on all cylinders to have a successful ACC season.
Honorable mention: Chino Obokoh had his best game in his career at Syracuse, scoring 11 points and grabbing 6 rebounds in 12 minutes of play. Syracuse interim head coach Mike Hopkins said before the game he knew he wanted to give Chino some minutes on Tuesday night. Although I wouldn't get overly optimistic that this means anything in the future for Obokoh, it was a nice early birthday present for the junior center.