A quick take on Syracuse’s 75-49 win against Seton Hall:
WHAT HAPPENED: The Orange’s defense completely stifled Seton Hall, as SU forced 23 turnovers and held the Pirates to 31 percent shooting from the field. Syracuse took control of the game for good with a 12-2 run to end the half as Syracuse went into intermission with a 34-15 lead. A 9-0 run midway through the second half would make this game completely lopsided, as SU took a 68-35 lead after a James Southerland slam with 5:15 left. The Orange enjoyed a solid shooting performance, shooting 46 percent from the field, although SU did shoot just 2-for-13 from downtown.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse’s tremendous depth was on display in its first Big East game of the season. How many teams in the country can say that its leading scorer didn’t score a single point, yet they win by 26? Few, if any. Yet that is exactly what the Orange did, as Joseph went 0-for-6 from the field for zero points and SU cruised to a victory against a Seton Hall team that had just reeled off eight straight wins and was No. 4 in RPI. Syracuse did it with its defense, which continues to to thrive. SU, which came in tops in the nation at 11.2 steals per game, forced 16 steals to go along with 15 blocks. And while the Orange was causing turnovers, it also took care of the ball, giving it up only seven times. As for the Pirates? They had a combined one steal and zero blocks. It was sweet revenge for the Orange, who lost 90-68 the last time these two teams played.
HERO: Fab Melo had the best game of his career, going for 12 points, 10 blocks and seven rebounds, nearly becoming the first Orange since Allen Griffin in 2001 to get a triple-double. Dion Waiters added 15 points off the bench. Jordan Theodore was Seton Hall’s lone bright spot, as he led the way with 14 points.
ZERO: Fuquan Edwin went 0-for-11 from the field and finished with three points. Herb Pope, who came in averaging more than 20 points and 11 rebounds per game, had just four points, nine rebounds and six turnovers, going 2-for-9 from the field.
INJURY REPORT: Waiters was fouled on a reach in midway through the second half and appeared to aggravate an hand injury. Said SU coach Jim Boeheim during the post game press conference: “The only way you can get better is not to play but that’s not an option. That’s one of the bad things with hand injuries; you just have to play through it. It didn’t seem to bother him too much tonight.”
WHAT’S NEXT: The Orange ring in the New Year when it travels to Chicago to play DePaul on Sunday, Jan. 1, at 5:00 p.m. TV: BIG EAST Network/SNY.