Syracuse employed a devastating full court press that changed the dynamic of the game—and the lead—in a 84-48 win over Eastern Michigan on Monday night.
The Orange looked flat in the first 5 minutes, and fell behind 10-3 with 14:59 in the first half. That’s when Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim switched to a full court press, and the team immediately responded.
Syracuse went on a 13-2 run, as the press caused nine turnovers. For the game, EMU coughed up the ball 23 times.
“I think we needed it, because we were all struggling,” Orange guard Brandon Triche said. “No player was playing well on our team. We just needed easy buckets to get everyone’s nerves to calm down. I think once we realized we were all struggling, we were all trying to rush a little bit, and try to seek shots. By playing hard on our press, we were able to get them in trouble a little bit and get easy buckets.”
One the easy points came, they came quickly, and often. Syracuse closed the half on a 32-5 run, and led 35-17 at intermission. The Orange then outscored EMU 49-31 in the second half.
“We have used it lately to try and get turnovers,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “We haven’t used the press that often but I think we can use the press effectively sometimes. They had a couple of young guys and they made a couple of mistakes early and they got a little shell-shocked with the pressure and we got some big turnovers.”