Tuesday night, Syracuse employed a 15-2 run in the opening eight minutes to jump all over Montana State en route to an 82-60 victory at the Carrier Dome. Five different players cracked double digits for the Orange (8-3), who led by as many as 30 points in the game.
SU bullied the Bobcats (5-7) inside on the offensive end of the court, piling up 44 points in the paint. Many of those points came in transition, as Syracuse held an 18-2 advantage in fast break points. Those easy points were key for the Orange, as they had a rough night otherwise on offense, hitting 28 percent of their three-point shots and 45.8 percent of their free throws.
Fortunately for SU, Montana State could not shoot at all. The Bobcats made 4-of-6 shots in the final 1:40 of the game, which lifted their field goal percentage for the game to 35.9 percent.
After each team scored a basket, Malachi Richardson converted a three-point-play for the Orange to give them the lead for good with just over 90 seconds elapsed. A few minutes later, with Syracuse in front by two, the hosts ripped off ten straight points in just over two minutes.
DaJuan Coleman started the run with a pair of foul shots and Trevor Cooney knocked down a three-pointer on the next SU possession. Tyler Roberson added a jump shot and Michal Gbinije added a three of his own to propel the Orange to a 17-5 lead with just over seven minutes off the clock.
Late in the first half, Syracuse ended a stretch of trading baskets with Montana State by posting an 8-1 advantage. A Richardson jumper opened the stretch and Cooney trumped a Bobcat foul shot with a three-pointer. Gbinije added a lay-up and Tyler Lydon a free throw to give SU a 29-15 lead with just over three minutes left in the half. The Orange would take that 14-point margin to half, leading 31-17 at the break.
That Syracuse lead would fluctuate between 13 and 18 points for the first several minutes of the second half, but an 8-0 Orange run effectively ended the game before the second media timeout of the second half. Franklin Howard’s three-point play opened the burst, then the freshman set up a Gbinije lay-in on the next trip down the court. Gbinije then followed the example of paying it forward by assisting on a Cooney trey for a 58-34 lead.
The Bobcats would claw back within 20 points on a pair of occasions, but SU outscored them, 18-8, in under six minutes to push the margin to 30. In fact, the Orange got scoring from an unusual source during that span, as reserve center Chinonso Obokoh outscored Montana State by hanging nine points for the Orange during that time frame.
The Bobcats closed with a ten-point flurry, but walk-on Ky Feldman got a lay-up for Syracuse to close the scoring.
Michael Gbinije paced a balance Orange attack with a game-high 17 points, including three triples. DaJuan Coleman added a season-high 13 points and Trevor Cooney hit a trio of treys en route to a dozen points, as well as grabbing three steals. Chinonso Obokoh poured in a personal-best 11 points and Tyler Lydon just missed a double-double, finishing with ten points and nine boards. Lydon also had four blocks in the game and Malachi Richardson had three rejections, as well.
Sarp Gobeloglu led the visitors with 13 points. Tyler Hall had a dozen points and Marcus Colbert had ten points to go with a game-high seven assists.
Syracuse will close their non-conference schedule on Sunday when Texas Southern comes to the Carrier Dome. The Tigers (1-9) are reeling, having lost their last five games, but have gotten a boost from Derrick Gordon, who joined the team after the football season ended and is averaging 16.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in four games. He joins Malcolm Riley (18.2) and Chris Thomas (14.3) as double-digit scorers for Texas Southern.
The action will get underway at 2:00pm Eastern with ESPNU handling the television duties.