Jim Boeheim moved into a tie for second place on the list of winningest Division I men’s basketball coaches with Bob Knight courtesy of Syracuse’s 96-62 romp over Central Connecticut State at the Carrier Dome on Monday. The Orange (12-1), who were promoted to #7 in the Associated Press poll earlier in the day, rode a strong shooting performance from behind the arc late in the first half to take a stranglehold on the game.
Six different SU players hit from deep as the team shot 10-of-22 from three-point range in the game while the Blue Devils (4-7) made only nine of their 35 tries from deep. Syracuse also demolished their undersized foes on the glass, finishing with a 57-32 rebounding advantage, as well as outscoring them 56-18 in the paint.
The opening 11 minutes of the game were evenly played by the two sides. The Orange needed five consecutive points to take their first three-point lead of the day, but consecutive triples gave the Blue Devils their largest lead at three points immediately after.
SU came to life shortly after, ripping off ten straight points to take a 28-21 lead. The visitors rang up a three-pointer to clip the margin to four, but Syracuse delivered a knockout blow in the form of 15 straight points, including a trio of treys, to take a 43-24 lead with under two minutes left in the opening half. After CCSU scored a field goal to stop the bleeding, the Orange tacked on a couple baskets for a 47-26 lead at intermission.
After the Blue Devils opened the second half with a pair of free throws, SU scored the next six points to push their lead out to 25 points. Shortly after, Syracuse ran off 11 unanswered points in less than three minutes to double up their foes at 66-33 with over 13 minutes remaining. The Blue Devils only got within 30 points twice after that and the Orange stretched the lead out to 40 at one point before cruising to the finish.
Michael Carter-Williams emerged from his slump and fell just shy of a triple-double, finishing with 18 points, 13 assists, and nine rebounds. Carter-Williams also made three triples in the game. DaJuan Coleman, C.J. Fair, and Brandon Triche each finished with 13 points. Fair also collected ten rebounds for a double-double while Coleman fell one board shy of the mark. Rakeem Christmas also just missed a double-double, finishing with nine points and ten rebounds to go along with his four blocked shots. James Southerland chipped in with 11 points.
Conference play kicks off for Syracuse on Monday when they host Rutgers in the Big East opener for both squads. The Scarlet Knights (9-2) bring a five-game win streak into the contest. Tip-off is set for 7:00 p.m. and the game is available on television on MSG.Jim Stechschulte (Follow on Twitter @dsafetyguy)