A quick take on Syracuse’s 85-61 win over Canisius on Saturday night for Jim Boeheim’s 899th career win:
WHAT HAPPENED: A Josiah Heath layup plus a foul gave Canisius 32-30 lead with 2:24 left in the first half. From there, Syracuse went on a 15-1 run, capped by a James Southerland dunk, to give the Orange a 33-45 lead with 17:03 left. SU’s lead would never fall below double digits the rest of the way.
ANALYSIS: The Orange struggled in the first half, and was actually outrebounded by the significantly smaller Golden Griffins 18-15. SU was also sluggish on defense, as the zone forced only 7 turnovers, and clung to a 35-32 lead at half. That all changed in the second half as the Orange smothered Canisius, forcing 10 turnovers, while shooting over 60 percent from the field. That had a lot to do with improved ball movement, as Michael Carter-Williams finished with 13 assists after having only one at intermission. The Orange also had no problems getting inside, with 40 points in the paint to just 12 for the Golden Griffins.
HERO: Southerland shot well for the second straight game, and finished with a game-high 21 points, going 3-6 from downtown. More impressive was his ability to score on midrange jumpers and on drives to the basket rather than settling for his outside shot. Brandon Triche chipped in 19 points, and Carter-Williams added 12 points and 14 assists in his first game since allegations of him shoplifting surfaced last week. Reigning MAAC Player of the Week Billy Baron paced Canisius with 15 points and 7 rebounds.
ZERO: The Orange had trouble with free throws again, shooting just 9-18 from the line. They also allowed Canisius to shoot 12-30 from downtown. Harold Washington, who came in hitting 56 percent from downtown was just 1-6 from beyond the arc.
WHAT’S NEXT: Boeheim will go for his 900th win when Syracuse hosts Detroit on Monday, Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. TV: ESPN2.Wesley Cheng