Continuing the theme of the season, Syracuse drilled an overmatched opponent at the Carrier Dome on Tuesday night, this time dispatching Cornell, 80-56. The Orange (8-5) used a 26-6 run to own the final ten minutes of the first half to build a lead the Big Red (3-9) could not challenge, then coasted home from there.
As has happened in other games against far weaker competition thus far, SU dominated in athletic terms. Syracuse outscored Cornell in fast break points, 16-0, and forced 15 turnovers, including getting ten steals on the night. The Orange also owned a 19-4 advantage in points off turnovers.
While SU was first on the board, Cornell was the first team to take a significant lead, answering an opening bucket with eight straight points for an early six-point lead. Syracuse responded with a 10-2 run to regain control. Tyus Battle started the burst with a three-pointer and Tyler Lydon capped the run with a triple of his own, giving the Orange a 12-10 lead with six-and-a-half minutes off the clock.
The Big Red scored on their next two possessions to retake the lead, then held a two-point lead when SU roared to life with just over 11 minutes left in the opening half.
Taurean Thompson started a streak of six straight points with a lay-up for Syracuse. Lydon connected on another three-pointer to complete that 6-0 burst, then Battle hit one on the heels of a Cornell basket. After each team scored once more, the Orange posted eight straight points to take a double-digit lead.
Tyler Roberson started the barrage with a slam dunk, then Andrew White III dropped in a lay-up to stretch the SU lead to nine. Lydon cashed in a pair of free throws, then Battle got his own lay-up to finish the streak and give Syracuse a 33-20 lead with under 2:30 remaining in the first half.
After the Big Red scored to stop the run, the Orange posted seven more points to blow the game open. Lydon scored in close, then added a three-pointer to push the lead to 16. White III scored inside and SU held a 40-22 lead in the last minute of the half.
Cornell mustered a three-point play to stop the bleeding, but Roberson got another dunk in the closing seconds of the half to put the Orange in front at the break, 42-25.
A couple scores early in the second half drew the Big Red within 14 points, but that was as close as the visitors would get. SU responded with a half dozen points, as Thompson scored twice from close range and White III buried two foul shots to give Syracuse their first 20-point lead of the night.
As the midpoint of the half approached, the Orange delivered the knockout blow in the form of a 12-2 run. Lydon hit a pair of free throws to start the stretch, then Battle hit a pair of three-pointers in just over 30 seconds. The Big Red responded with a score, but Thompson matched it with a jumper of his own and White III added two more foul shots for a 69-40 lead with 10:24 remaining.
From that point, the SU lead touched 30 points on two occasions. Cornell scored nine straight points after the latter, but walk-on Adrian Autry Jr. hit his third three-pointer of the season just before the horn for the 80-56 final.
Tyler Lydon hung his second straight double-double and third of the season, finishing with 20 points and ten rebounds. The sophomore hit four three-pointers for the bulk of his offense and did most of his work early, finishing the first half with 15 points. Taurean Thompson was a force off the bench, finishing with 18 points in only 22 minutes of play, and had 14 points after the break.
Tyus Battle also hit four three-pointers in the game, finishing with 16 points and adding three steals on defense. Andrew White III had a rough shooting night from the perimeter, but still chipped in a dozen points.
Troy Whiteside and Matt Morgan were the only Cornell players in double figures. Whiteside shot 6-of-9 from the floor and finished with 13 points while Morgan chipped in with ten.
SU will ring in both the New Year and ACC play when they head east to take on Boston College on Sunday, January 1. The Eagles (7-6) closed the non-conference portion of their schedule by winning three of four games, including a 79-67 home win over Providence on Friday. Sophomore shooting guard Jerome Robinson is BC’s top threat, averaging 20.5 points per game, and has topped the 25-point mark four times this season.
The game is set for a 12:30pm start with ESPNU handling the telecast. The game will also be online at ESPN3.com.