NEW YORK — A quick take on Syracuse’s 95-70 win against St. John’s:
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse looked sloppy in the early stages of the game, as it missed its first five shots and didn’t score until the 16:29 mark in the first half. But an 8-0 run gave the Orange a 10-7 lead. Another 8-1 run followed that, and SU opened up a 20-12 lead capped by a CJ Fair jumper. SU would lead by at least eight points the rest of the way, and the game would turn into a rout after the Orange opened the second half on a 9-0 run to take a 50-27 lead. With the win, SU coach Jim Boeheim tied Dean Smith for third on the all-time wins list.
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ANALYSIS: The Fab Melo effect was in full force at Madison Square Garden on Saturday after the center had missed the past three games because of an academic issue. After being outrebounded 41-20 by West Virginia in its last game, the Orange dominated St. John’s on the glass 42-31. It also showed on defense, as the Orange held St. John’s to just 30.8 percent shooting in the first half. Syracuse also showed once against that Madison Square Garden is the second home for SU. The Garden was sold out, and had a ratio of at least a 3:1 advantage in favor of Orange fans. “Let’s Go Orange!” chants rained down on the Garden as the game ended.
HERO: Five different SU players were in double figures, with Fab Melo (14) and Michael Carter-Williams (13) setting new career highs. Carter-Williams threw down the dunk of the year midway through the second half, with a vicious tomahawk jam with God’sgift Achiuwa draped all over him.
ZERO: Sir’Dominic Pointer was 0-7 from the field for zero points for St. John’s. Brandon Triche was just 1-for-6 for four points.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will host Georgetown on Wed., Feb 8 at 7:00 p.m. TV: ESPN.