SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- In front of 18,363 fans, Syracuse put on one of their worst performances in years on their home court, falling to St. John's, 93-60.
“This game is all on me,” Coach Boeheim said. “I didn’t get them ready to do what we needed to do.”
In a game that the Orange should have handled, the team could not defend the perimeter. The Red Storm hit twelve three-pointers against the Syracuse zone.
Eye of the Storm
Malik Ellison hit three triples on 16 points, and teammate Shamorie Ponds added four more threes on his way to 19 points on the night. It was a third St. John’s player, Bashir Ahmed, who led the team with 20 points, six of which came from downtown.
“Everything is on us,” Tyler Lydon said. “He told us exactly what was going to be happening and we just weren’t able to execute.”
Tyler Lydon led the charge for the Orange with 16 points, back from a sprained Achilles he suffered on Monday night against Eastern Michigan. He played 38 minutes in the game, more than anyone else for SU. Taurean Thompson and Dajuan Coleman each chipped in 10 points as well for Syracuse.
The game was competitive in the first half. SU opened on a 7-2 run off of a Frank Howard layin, a Lydon three and a Thompson dunk.
St. John’s answered back with an 8-2 run after that, taking the 10-9 lead on back-to-back threes from Malik Ellison.
SU fought back with a Tyus Battle three and a Taurean Thompson jumper. Syracuse led 14-12 with 12:39 remaining in the half. That was the last time the Orange led in the contest.
'Red'dy or Not
The Red Storm went on a 14-0 run, including four three-pointers from Ponds and Richard Freudenberg. Syracuse fans were stunned from the Johnnies’ barrage from downtown. It was 26-14 Red Storm with 9:25 left before the half.
For the remainder of the half, Syracuse and St. John’s battled like the old Big East foes that they are. Anytime the Orange gained some momentum, the Johnnies would answer with another three-pointer, sucking the life out of the Carrier Dome.
Dropping the Ball
St. John’s led by ten at the half, 39-29. The Red Storm connected on seven threes in the first 20 minutes of play. Syracuse committed ten turnovers in the first half, leading to 18 points for St. John’s.
Paint by Numbers
To start the second half, Syracuse took it inside. The Orange found Dajuan Coleman for their first six points of the half, cutting the lead to 41-35. The six-point margin was the closest the Orange could get the rest of the way.
Bashir Ahmed found some easy looks inside, including a dunk with 17:16 remaining to put the Red Storm up by twelve. When Andrew White tried answering back with a layup, Ponds hit another dagger from downtown, and the ripple effect could be felt throughout the Dome.
“The only thing that makes us dispirited is the scoreboard, and that is just something we have to correct with our play,” Andrew White said.
The Thin Red Line
The Johnnies had an answer at every turn, but Syracuse could not solve the quandary that was the perimeter. The Red Storm hit twelve from beyond the arc in the game.
When Ahmed slammed it home for St. John’s at the 10:34 mark, it was the beginning of the end for the Orange. The Red Storm unleashed its merciless arsenal of dunks and treys on Syracuse, going on a 15-0 run that really stunned the fans in attendance. Some started to hit the exits around the 8:00 mark, and with St. John’s up 74-48.
Tyler Lydon and Tyus Battle scored a quick four points to break up another disparaging 13-0 run for the Red Storm. Back-to-back Tariq Owens slams, one of which an insulting alley-oop, were accompanied by a chorus of boos from the crowd.
An uncommon site occurred with 4:49 left on the clock. Syracuse fans were leaving the Carrier Dome in a mass exodus, with their team losing. The score was 85-54, after Ahmed sank a triple for St. John’s.
“ From what I’ve seen, based on the start of the season, how we’ve played, it’s totally expected,” Boeheim said. “If we don’t change and play better defense, get better movement, get better guard play, it’s going to continue. This won’t change.”
At the 1:30 mark, Syracuse had something to cheer about as five of their walk-ons came into the game. Ky Feldman abliged the crowd with a corner three.
In the end, the Red Storm rained down on the Orange a tempest of epic proportions, winning by an unheard of margin of 33 points for a Syracuse home game. SU had 19 turnovers, leading to 32 points for St. John’s. Syracuse has lost all three games to former Big East rivals this year (Connecticut and Georgetown).
“Up is the only way we can go from now,” Frank Howard said. “I don’t think you get any worse than this.”
Still Seeing Red
Syracuse (7-5) has to work on defending the perimeter, and their pride, before the Cornell Big Red comes into town after the holiday weekend on the 27th.