Saturday afternoon at the Carrier Dome, No. 5 Syracuse extended their dominance over Colgate, rolling to their Division I-record 46th consecutive win over their in-state rivals Colgate, 92-47.
Bench play told the tale, as Jim Boeheim used the game to get 19 players some court time and the reserves of the Orange (4-0) outscored their counterparts, 60-9. SU shot a sizzling 61.5 percent from the floor in the first half and forced 26 turnovers while committing only nine in the game, wiping out any upset hopes the Raiders (1-2) held entering the contest. The game was not in doubt for the second half, so Kris Joseph sat out that session to rest his surgically repaired knee.
Colgate buried a three to open the game, then extended their lead to 6-2 before two minutes had elapsed. Syracuse responded to grab their first lead, but Colgate remained close for the first six minutes. With the score 12-10 in favor of the Orange, the hosts removed any sense of doubt from the game, outscoring the Raiders 38-7 to take a 33-point lead with just over two minutes left in the half.
That stretch of dominance included runs of 14, nine, and seven consecutive points by SU. Each team added a pair of points before the intermission for a halftime score of 52-19 in favor of Syracuse.
After the squads traded scores for the opening minutes of the second half, the Orange strung together seven straight points to push their lead out to 64-25. Colgate replied with a 9-1 burst to stop the bleeding, but SU would have none of it, ripping off 11 consecutive points to take their largest lead to that point at 77-34 with just under seven minutes left. An 8-0 Raider run got them within 35 with four minutes on the clock, but Syracuse struck back with a 9-0 run, including a pair of buckets scored by walk-ons, to stretch the margin to 44, then a late three-pointer for the Orange made the game’s final lead 45 points.
Dion Waiters led four SU players in scoring, dropping in 16 points. His fellow reserves James Southerland and C. J. Fair helped out, adding 14 and 13 points, respectively. Southerland tallied 11 of his points in the first half. Scoop Jardine was the only starter to crack double figures with 11 points and also led the team with six assists and three steals.
The Syracuse hoops team travels to Madison Square Garden in New York City, their home away from home, for their NIT Season Tipoff semifinal matchup against Virginia Tech on Wednesday. The Hokies (3-0) last faced Syracuse in 2004, when they were still members of the Big East. ESPN2 will broadcast the game, which is set for a 6:30pm tip-off, and ESPN3.com will stream the telecast online.
Oklahoma State and Stanford will play in the other semifinal game at 4:00pm Pacific. The two winners will meet in the championship game on Friday at 4:00pm Pacific with the consolation game set for 1:30pm.