After a lethargic opening half, Syracuse woke up and powered through Canisius with a strong second half effort for an 85-61 win at the Carrier Dome. The fourth-ranked Orange (9-0) outscored the Golden Griffins (6-2) after the intermission by a 50-29 margin, primarily by connecting on 61.8 percent of their field goal attempts. SU also exploited their size advantage in the second half, outscoring the visitors in the paint 26-2.
After allowing a quick opening basket to the visitors, Syracuse scored nine points in less than three minutes for a seven-point lead. Canisius would use an 8-2 run shortly after that to get within 13-12. The Orange regained their composure, using a pair of three-pointers to close out eight consecutive points for their largest lead of the half at 23-14 just past the midpoint of the session.
The Golden Griffins rose to the challenge, whittling the gap down to 25-23 in just over two minutes of play. SU bounced back with five straight points, but the visitors were unimpressed, scoring the next nine points to grab a 32-30 lead. Syracuse posted the final five points of the half, including a Brandon Triche layup that just beat the horn, to take a 35-32 lead into the locker room.
The Orange posted the first half dozen points of the second half to retake a nine-point lead, then nudged their lead out to 45-33 with less than three minutes off the clock. After a Golden Griffin basket, the Orange tacked on five more points to take a 15-point lead for the first time.
The two squads traded scores for the next few minutes before back-to-back scores by SU put them up 58-42. The Syracuse lead ranged from 12 to 17 points over the next six minutes before the Orange ripped off an 11-0 run for an 80-57 lead with less than two minutes on the clock to finally put the game away.
James Southerland broke out of a recent shooting slump, connecting on 9-of-14 shots, including three from beyond the arc, for a game-high 21 points. Brandon Triche nearly matched him, adding 19 points to the Orange attack. Michael Carter-Williams posted his fifth consecutive double-double, this time by racking up 13 of his 14 assists after the break and dropping in a dozen points in the contest. He also had three steals. Rakeem Christmas finished with ten points and three blocks. Baye Moussa Keita also had three blocks in the game.
Monday night, Jim Boeheim looks to secure win #900 in his career when SU faces Detroit at the Carrier Dome. The Titans (6-4) are yet to win a game away from their home floor on the season. Tip-off is set for a 7 p.m. start and ESPN2 will carry the game.Jim Stechschulte