With fewer than five minutes to go in Syracuse’s 108-56 win against Monmouth last night, SU’s DaJuan Coleman threw a long pass to a streaking Brandon Triche. Triche kept control of the ball, maneuvered his way toward the basket, and threw down a one-handed slam in the face of a Monmouth player to increase SU’s lead to 56 points.
Coleman’s assist was one of two out of the team’s 30 dimes not dished out by a guard. It was a night where every shot fell for the Orange.
“When you got guys who are able to find people in spots where they can score the ball, as a group we’re just making each other look better,” Triche said. “We’re just playing basketball. We got a lot of guys who are doing the right things at this time.”
Following a slow start when it let Monmouth hang around, the Orange kicked it up a notch and went into the highest gear toward the end of the first half, turning a tight game into a blowout. Blowing out teams is not a new concept for the Orange. But this game represented a complete all-around performance for the Orange. Everyone was involved.
Sophomore point guard Michael Carter-Williams, who leads the nation in assists, totaled more than half of SU’s assists with 16. Seven players scored in double figures, compared to just one player scoring at least 10 for Monmouth. Three players notched double-doubles, and SU’s 108 points were the most since its six-overtime game in the 2009 Big East Tournament.
“I thought we had a little bit of a slow start,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. “I think it was a good overall effort. This team is looking for each other, passing the ball. Thirty assists, that’s pretty good. People are looking for each other, finding open people, that’s good.”
Triche had 18 points and eight assists and Carter-Williams added 15 points to his 16 assists. Trevor Cooney came off the bench to score 15 and hit half (5-10) of his three-pointers. The defense held Monmouth to 31.8 percent shooting. Coleman added in 14 rebounds, with C.J. Fair and Baye Moussa Keita adding 10 apiece.
It was a stat-stuffing night for the Orange. That may seem like a given, but on the same night, rival Georgetown managed just a 48-40 win over Towson. So the Orange will take games like these and run with it.
“Just to have all my teammates score in double figures, just to have fun out there laughing, playing hard together, and just out playing as a team is a great thing,” Carter-Williams said.
In one sequence nearly two minutes into the second half, Carter-Williams stole the ball from Monmouth’s Ed Waite and ran the floor for a dunk. Later on, he squirmed his way around a Monmouth defender and slid a sideways pass to Triche, who hit a three to put SU up 76-32.
“Mike being a point guard, he’s able to get into the lane,” Triche said. “Once he gets into the lane, he’s able to find people.”
After the game, Carter-Williams deflected some of the credit given to him toward his teammates. Because while the sophomore ran the floor, every rotation player did their part on Saturday night.
“They’re always in the right position, they’re ready to shoot the ball, they’re ready to attack the rim,” Carter-Williams said. “It has a lot to do with them. I’m just there to get them the ball.”Rachel Marcus