Settling in as top option, White leads Syracuse past Monmouth

White_Mouthpiece

White led SU with 18 points

Syracuse graduate transfer Andrew White III looked like he had finally settled into his new home.

Playing a full 20 minutes and leading the team with 18 points, White seemed unstoppable during the first half, leading Syracuse to a 71-50 rout of Monmouth University,

“We really did a good job of getting Andrew the ball and he was our offense,” Boeheim said. “He kept us in there. We were struggling a little bit offensively, but he made big shots and got us some separation.”

White was decisive in helping spark an Orange offense that had issues finding the basket early in the game.

After going 1-2 on a pair of free throws, White got things going with a long jump shot. From there, things really started to heat up for the transfer. Scoring back to back 3-pointers, White helped the Orange open up the Monmouth defense.

As the first half started to wind down, White scored on two more consecutive shots from beyond the arc. The first 3 coming from an offensive rebound, White’s follow up was the result of a quick steal by Frank Howard.

» Related: Syracuse rolls past Monmouth with strong second half effort

With two more jumpers and a pair of successful free throws in the closing minutes of the half, White helped the Orange head into the locker room up 37-29.

“We prepared for a good team coming in, so I just wanted do whatever I could to give us a lead, to put us in a good position going into the half,” White said. “My teammates and my coaches put me in a position so that I could play well and help my team.”

In addition to his shooting, White proved versatile on both ends of the court, finishing with four assists, two steals, and five defensive rebounds, White showed that he is capable of contributing to the Orange on multiple fronts.

White’s hot hand cooled in the second half as he went scoreless. But his torrid start gave his teammates more room to shoot as Monmouth focused on shutting down White.

“Going into the second half, everybody else got going,” White said. “I want my role all year to be to take pressure off of guys and make guys feel comfortable. That’s what I was most impressed with that we could play well enough to be in a position to come out with a good win and get everybody else going.”

It certainly got Taurean Thompson going, with Thompson finishing with 12 points after being shut out the first half. Tyus Battle also benefited from a looser Monmouth defense as he closed the game with nine points, going 3-4 outside of the arc.

“Andrew carried us offensively in the first half,” Battle said. “It opened us up offensively in the second half because they had to worry about him and it got us easy shots. It got Taurean going in the second half.”

Despite the successful game, White believes that he can still do more for Syracuse.

“Coach had me in there the whole first half, that was something new and something I’m adjusting to,” White said. “It was good to have a lopsided win like that, but as we go later into the season, I’ll definitely have to put together two complete halves.”

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