A quick take on Syracuse’s 69-63 win against Stanford:
WHAT HAPPENED: Down 55-47 with 6:47 left, the Orange mounted a furious rally, thanks to nine straight points from Kris Joseph and a full court press that baffled Stanford. Joseph’s jumper with 2:56 left gave SU its first lead of the second half, a 61-60 lead. It was Joseph again with a key steal as Syracuse clung to a three point lead with 22 seconds left to seal the win.
It made up for another atrocious first half for the Orange. Syracuse was 11-for-31 from the field and 1-for-5 from downtown, while committing 12 turnovers. It was reminiscent of Syracuse’s previous game against Virginia Tech, when the Orange started the game 5-for-16 from the field. The Orange was able to stay in the game by forcing 15 Cardinal turnovers and the dominant inside play of Fab Melo, who had four points, three blocks and six rebounds in the opening half. But in the second half, it was the line of Dion Waiters, Brandon Triche, Joseph, CJ Fair and Melo that rescued Syracuse for the second straight game. The Orange shot 17-for-30 in the second half and narrowly avoided an early season loss.
ANALYSIS: We did learn a few things from SU’s two games down in the Garden. For the first time this season, the Orange had to play from a deficit, and rallied each time for the win. It was nice to see Joseph—the Orange’s top gun—take over each game when he needed to. Against Virginia Tech, Joseph did it in the first half, with 12 of his game-high 20 points to keep Syracuse in the game. Tonight, Joseph busted loose in the second half, and he and Waiters made all of the clutch plays down the stretch. That being said, SU’s offense is serious concern. For the second straight game, the Orange offense stalled coming out of the gates, and needed a late second half run to secure the game.
HERO: Joseph led SU’s charge in the second half, and finished with 18 points and nine rebounds. Waiters was again a catalyst for Syracuse, with 10 points. As mentioned earlier, Melo had another dominant inside game, finishing with six points, nine rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Triche chipped in 11 points, while Waiters and Fair combined for 20 off the bench.
ZERO: Scoop Jardine could be in the hero category, too. Jardine scored 14 points, including a pair of 3s early in the second half that ignited Syracuse’s offense. But Jardine also committed a team-high six turnovers, including two on consecutive possessions that got him pulled from the game in favor of Triche late in the second half. James Southerland is also quickly fading after coming into the two games as SU’s leading scorer at 13.8 points a game. He missed his only two shots of the game in seven minutes of play, and went scoreless in both games at Madison Square Garden.