Syracuse opened their basketball season on Saturday by cruising to a 78-53 victory over Fordham at the Carrier Dome. The Orange (1-0) trailed for less than a minute in the early goings before quickly gaining control of the Rams (0-1). SU’s 2-3 zone defense was in midseason form, holding the visitors to 34.6 percent shooting from the floor, including allowing them to make only 4-of-19 from beyond the three-point line. Jim Boeheim went deep into his bench, playing nine players at least 16 minutes apiece.
After Syracuse opened the game with a three-pointer, Fordham scored the next five points for their lone lead of the night. The Orange scored the next six points to take the lead for good before five minutes had elapsed. Midway through the opening session, SU rattled off nine straight points to take a 21-8 lead with just over seven minutes on the clock. Later in the half, six straight Syracuse points pushed their lead out to 30-12. Fordham replied with seven straight points of their own, but the Orange got a bucket late in the half to take a 32-19 lead at the break.
SU scored the first four points of the second half to stretch their lead back out to 17. The Rams stuck around a few minutes, but the Orange ripped off a 9-0 run to take their biggest lead to that point at 51-28. Fordham crept back within 18 points, Syracuse tacked up eight more points to expand the lead to 26 points. The Orange lead swelled to 30 points for the first time with just over four minutes remaining and would touch that mark three more times in the waning minutes before the Rams tallied the last five points of the game.
Kris Joseph paced the Orange with 16 points. Dion Waiters was the only other SU player in double figures, connecting on 6-of-9 field goals on his way to 14 points. C.J. Fair and Brandon Triche each added nine points to the Syracuse attack. Fab Melo had four blocked shots on the defensive end, while Scoop Jardine snared three steals.
The Orange start play in the NIT Season Tipoff on Monday when they host Manhattan. The Jaspers (1-0) defeated the New Jersey Institute of Technology in their opener on Saturday, 62-48. The game will tip off at 4:00pm Pacific and be broadcast on ESPNU.
The game will be preceded by a contest between Albany and Brown. The winners of the two games will face off at 4:00pm Pacific on Tuesday, while the two losing squads will play at 1:00pm Pacific.