After a week of three tough games, Syracuse wins a laugher against Colgate 86-51 at the Carrier Dome Monday night.
The 161st meeting between the Orange and Red Raiders got off to a good start for the ‘Cuse, who has usually fallen behind in the early goings of its last couple games. The Niagara Falls Connection of Jonny Flynn and Paul Harris took over the opening minutes. Flynn drained a three and then picked the pocket of his Colgate counterpart for an easy layup. Harris scored nine points and with a Flynn free throw in between, SU led 15-2.
Syracuse played man-to-man defense for the entire game and really clamped down on the Red Raiders. Colgate scored only 13 first-half points and shot 5-of-29 from the field (17.2 percent). Of course the talent gap and the height differential had a lot to do with the poor shooting numbers, but guys like Eric Devendorf showed effort in guarding his man. This team seems more motivated and likes the challenge of shutting down their opponent, especially Flynn.
On the other side, Syracuse was terrific shooting at a 54 percent clip with Harris leading the way as he scored 13 points. Flynn was solid, scoring six points and dishing out five assists. The game was so out of hand that senior guard Justin Thomas came in to give Flynn a rest. If you're wondering, it was all Orange, 43-13 at the break.
The second half was much the same, although there was a noticeable let up on the defensive side of the ball for Syracuse. Colgate scored 38 points in the second stanza and shot 5-of-11 from beyond the arc. That was much better than the Orange, who despite its huge lead struggled from downtown. Syracuse only made 4-of-17 attempts from deep as Andy Rautins missed all four of his chances from three point range. It seems to be a reoccurring theme, the cold shooting from the outside, which makes no sense. With Flynn, Devendorf, and Rautins the ‘Cuse should be shooting 40 percent from out there.
But it didn't matter in this one. SU put four players in double figures, led by do-it-all Paul who had a game-high 22 points. His high school teammate Flynn finished with 12 and gave out seven helpers. Centers Arinze Onuaku and Rick Jackson each dropped in ten points apiece, and Jackson grabbed ten boards to record his first double-double of the year. To top it off, walk-on Brandon Reese got into the game and knocked down a pair of free throws. Then in the final seconds, Reese assisted on a three-pointer by senior guard Jake Presutti.
Some other observations from Syracuse's 86-51 win over Colgate:
· Finally the Orange came out and took care of business right from the start. Not that Colgate was going to be a challenge, but this team seems to play to the level of its opponent. It was probably nice for Orange fans to relax and watch their team dominate.
· There was a Mookie Jones sighting. The gangly freshman finally saw some action and showed off his athletic ability in the open floor. Jones scored nine points in 21 minutes of playing time.
· Syracuse outscored Colgate 54-14 in the paint. But despite being overshadowed by the Orange, Red Raider forward Alex Woodhouse had seven blocks.
· A positive sign for SU came at the charity stripe. In the second half, the Orange went 12-of-13 from the free throw line. By far the best showing of the year from that spot.
Syracuse (7-0) and ranked #16/20 takes on the Cornell on Wednesday at the Carrier Dome. The Orange has a ten day lay-off after this one before playing Long Beach State on December 13th.