Sunday afternoon was a walk in the park for #6 Syracuse as they were mostly unbothered by Colgate in an 87-51 win at home. The victory gave SU a program record with its 25th consecutive win at the Carrier Dome. The victory also marked the 47th straight win for the Orange over Colgate in the series between the two schools and the 46th straight regular season SU win in a non-conference regular season game.
The Orange (4-0) forced 16 turnovers by the Raiders (3-4) and converted them into 21 points in the win. In fact, the SU defense was stingy in general against an opponent content to shoot a lot of three-pointers, holding the visitors to just under 34 percent shooting in the game.
After Syracuse got the initial basket just seconds into the action, Colgate knocked down three-pointers on consecutive possessions to take a quick 6-2 lead. The Orange responded with the next seven points to take the lead at 9-6. SU lost the lead later when the Raiders tied the game at 11, but that lasted only 20 seconds until the Orange started a run of nine straight to gain control. Colgate bounced back with the next five points to get within four just over eight minutes into the game, but Syracuse scored 18 of the game’s next 24 points for a 38-22 lead with just under 90 seconds left in the half. The Raiders got the lone basket before the break and SU held a 38-24 advantage at intermission.
The Orange started the second half on the right foot with the first six points to stretch their lead to 20 points for the first time. The margin stayed in the vicinity of 20 points for the next three minutes, but Syracuse rang up seven straight points to take a 58-33 lead with under a dozen minutes remaining. A few minutes later, SU posted a 10-0 run to effectively end the game at 70-38 with just over six minutes on the clock. After Colgate hit a three to halt the run, the Orange responded with another 10-0 burst for an 80-41 lead. SU would nudge the lead out to 40 points on two separate occasions before settling for the 36-point win.
For the second straight outing, James Southerland paced the Orange in a reserve role. The senior forward tallied 18 points, including 16 in the first half. Brandon Triche added 15 while DaJuan Coleman logged the first double-digit game of his young career, ringing up 12 points. Rakeem Christmas fell one rebound shy of a double-double with ten points and nine boards. Michael Carter-Williams complemented his eight points with 13 assists and four steals.
Syracuse is off until Friday when they will take on Arkansas on the road as part of the Big East-SEC Challenge. The Razorbacks (3-2) are on a two-game slide, having dropped contests against Arizona State and Wisconsin as part of the Las Vegas Invitational over the Thanksgiving weekend. The action will get underway at 8:30pm and the game will be televised by ESPN.Jim Stechschulte (Follow on Twitter @dsafetyguy)