#4 Syracuse played what may be their best game of the young season, jumping out to an early lead en route to rolling over Long Beach State at the Carrier Dome, 84-53. The Orange (7-0) had five players reach double figures for the second straight game, proving to be too much for the 49ers (3-5), who shot under 30 percent from the field on the night. SU also had a season-best plus-14 margin on the boards, including 19 rebounds on the offensive end.
Syracuse jumped all over the visitors at the outset of the game, seizing a 16-4 lead just five-and-a-half minutes into the affair. Long Beach State worked the margin down to eight points shortly after, then later outscored the Orange by a 7-2 margin to get within 25-19 with under eight minutes left in the first half. SU turned up the jets from there, using a 24-8 burst, including stretches of seven and six consecutive points, to take a 22-point lead with just under a minute on the clock. The 49ers got a last-second bucket to clip the Syracuse lead to 49-29 at halftime.
Long Beach State whittled a couple points off the Orange lead in the opening 90 seconds of the second half, but SU ripped off an 11-0 run to grab a 61-33 stranglehold on the game and end any hopes of a comeback. The 49ers scored the next five points, but Syracuse quickly responded in kind to go back up by 28. The Orange later used a 9-0 run to stretch their lead to 75-42 with under eight minutes to play, then nudged the margin out to 34 points at one point before coasting to the final horn.
C.J. Fair had his best game of the season, finishing with 16 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. For the third straight outing, Michael Carter-Williams posted a double-double, this time scoring 15 points while dishing out ten assists. Rakeem Christmas, Brandon Triche, and Trevor Cooney each chipped in with 11 points. Carter-Williams collected three steals and DaJuan Coleman blocked three shots on the defensive end.
The Orange will play their fourth game in nine days on Saturday when they welcome Monmouth to the Dome. The Hawks (5-4) had a four-game winning streak snapped on Wednesday in an 85-66 loss to Navy. Tip-off is set for 7:00pm and will be available on television on SNY.Jim Stechschulte (Follow on Twitter @dsafetyguy)