A quick take on Syracuse’s 84-48 win against Eastern Michigan:
WHAT HAPPENED: The Eagles started the game shooting 9-of-14 from the field, and led 21-18 with 8:01 left in the first half. From there, the Orange took over, going on a 20-3 run that extended into the second half. The run was capped by a Kris Joseph 3-pointer, one of three shots beyond the arc on the run. Joseph’s shot put SU up 39-24 with 17:33 left in the game, and the Orange would lead by double-digits the rest of the way. It was a robust shooting game for the Orange, as SU shot 50 percent from from the field and 13-for-30 from 3-point range.
ANALYSIS: The Orange showed no ill-effects in its first game following the dismissal of long-time Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine. Like Syracuse’s game against Colgate, a large contingent of media including USA Today and the New York Times were on hand, but it proved not to be a distraction as far as the game was concerned. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim received a loud ovation before the start of the game from the fans and enjoyed a nice moment during warmups with former assistant coach Rob Murphy, now head coach of Eastern Michigan.
On the basketball court, the Orange struggled for the first eight minutes of the game, as Murphy’s team employed a 2-3 zone of their own. SU frequently settled for jumpers in the early going before finding cracks on both baselines. The same could be said of Syracuse’s own defense, which was late on several rotations in the early going before finding its stride. For the game, Syracuse forced 17 turnovers and outrebounded Eastern Michigan 36-26.
HERO: After playing just seven minutes and scoring zero points at Madison Square Garden, James Southerland made an auspicious return to the Carrier Dome, tying a career high 19 points. While it was a nice night for the junior, Southerland’s performance to date have been directly related to the quality of the opposing team. It doesn’t bode well for him heading into the Big East season. Darrell Lampley led the Eagles with 19 points.
ZERO: One game after leading the Eagles with 14 points in a loss to Michigan State, guard JR Sims struggled against Syracuse. He scored seven points on 2-for-14 shooting from the field, and missed all five of his 3-point attempts.