Instant Juice: Syracuse 70, Miami 55

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Syracuse finally picked up its first win against a high-major

A quick take on Syracuse’s 70-55 win over Miami on Wednesday evening:

WHAT HAPPENED: After Dajan Vasiljevic’s 3-pointer slashed SU’s lead to 43-42 with 13:30 left, Syracuse responded with a 9-0 run to go up 10 with 10:25 left, capped by Andrew White’s 3-pointer. From there, Tyler Lydon scored nine straight points for the Orange as Syracuse opened up a comfortable double-digit lead it would never relinquish.

» Related: What went wrong in Syracuse’s loss to Boston College?

ANALYSIS: Finally, Syracuse put on a performance that matched its lofty preseason expectations and talent. The main difference was on defense, something SU has struggled mightily in all season. Though Miami canned 11 3-pointers, which has been a bugaboo throughout the year, the Orange held the Hurricanes to under 40 percent shooting on the night, showing a cohesion that has been missing all season. Perhaps that’s because Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim cut his rotation to just seven players, and effectively six, with Frank Howard relegated to the bench for the majority of the game, and Tyler Roberson playing major minutes.

HERO: Syracuse also shined on offense, with Boeheim settling in on Gillon as his floor general. Gillon, though maddening at times with his shot selection, still effectively distributed the ball, dishing out 11 helpers. Lydon and White, meanwhile, were effective zone busters, combining for 42 points. For Miami, Vasiljevic would hit six 3-pointers to lead the Hurricanes with 18 points.

ZERO: Gillon played nearly the entire game in favor of Howard, who has now found himself in the Josh Wright doghouse. He registered just one minute in the box score.

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will host Pitt on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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Wes Cheng

About Wes Cheng

Wes has worked for Rivals.com covering the New York Knicks, as well as for Scout.com covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.
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