A quick take on Syracuse’s 99-77 rout of Boston University on Saturday afternoon:
WHAT HAPPENED: After a lackadaisical first half where the Orange went into intermission up just 45-39, SU’s offense exploded in the second half to break a two-game losing streak. A 16-0 run highlighted by Taurean Thompson’s first collegiate 3-pointer gave gave SU a commanding 64-44 lead with just over 15 minutes to go. It was a welcome offensive performance for a team that was coming off a 50-point performance earlier in the week.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse’s anemic offense finally found a respite against the Terriers. Syracuse enjoyed 51.6 percent shooting from the field and 14-33 shooting from distance, with four different players in double figures. Thompson and John Gillon accounted for 45 of Syracuse’s points off the bench, though the Orange surrendered a -4 rebounding margin and also shot just 19 for 28 from the free throw line.
HERO: BU’s Cedric Hankerson finished with 34 points, including 10-20 shooting from downtown. He departed to cheers for the Syracuse crowd, a remarkable feat in and of itself. As for Syracuse, Thompson enjoyed the best game of his young SU career, with a season-high 22 points on 10-13 shooting and seven rebounds.
ZERO: Syracuse’s 2-3 defense leaves much to be desired. The zone on multiple occasions failed to identify Hankerson, which led a frustrated Jim Boeheim to call his defense “awful” in the first half. The Orange, however, did pick things up in the second half, and ended up forcing 18 BU turnovers.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse gets a week off before hosting Georgetown at the Carrier Dome on Saturday, Dec. 17 at noon. TV: ESPN.