Syracuse basketball cruises past Ryerson in final exhibition game

Syracuse's offense has significantly improved

Three strong runs, two in the opening half, provided pretty much all Syracuse would need for their 81-46 exhibition victory over Ryerson at the Carrier Dome on Tuesday night. The Orange, in fact, ripped off stretches of 11, 12, and 18 straight points, nearly outdoing the Rams’ total offensive output.

SU physically overmatched their guests and it showed in the scorebook, as they turned in a superior defensive effort. Ryerson made 30.8 percent of their field goals on the night, including 26.1 percent from three-point range, and turned the ball over 24 times in the contest.

CJ Fair starred in SU’s win

The Rams got in the scorebook first via a three-pointer, but the first Syracuse run wrested control of the game and put the hosts up after five-and-a-half minutes, 11-3. Ryerson hung around for the next several minutes, but just after the midpoint of the half, senior C.J. Fair keyed a 12-0 run with a half dozen points in under a minute.

» Related: Syracuse in for a big season, says Tim Welsh

The burst gave the Orange a 30-9 lead with less than five minutes until the intermission and was an encapsulation of the senior’s first half, as he scored 15 points with his controlled, yet aggressive game. The Rams made an effort to climb back into the contest, making four of their final five shot attempts of the first half, including a pair of treys, to get within 39-23 at the half.

Ryerson got the first basket of the second half through a defensive breakdown courtesy of an Orange defensive breakdown, leading head coach Jim Boeheim to call a time out less than a minute out of the break.

After each team scored a field goal, Syracuse erupted. Trevor Cooney hit a three-point basket that triggered 18 straight SU points that pressed the lead out to 59-27. The run took just over four minutes and was authored mostly by the Orange backcourt. Cooney and his fellow guard Tyler Ennis were involved in all but four points in the burst, either by scoring or getting an assist, as well as each one setting up the other for a bucket.

» Related: What we learned from SU’s final exhibition

Seven straight points late in the second half would stretch the SU lead to its greatest point at 75-38 with 6:20 on the clock. The margin stayed over 30 points until the final horn.

The Syracuse starting frontline overwhelmed their counterparts on the Rams. C.J. Fair topped all scorers with 18 points in only 25 minutes of play. DaJuan Coleman carded a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds and Rakeem Christmas added 10 points and eight boards. Trevor Cooney chipped in with nine points, courtesy of three field goals from deep.

The Orange will open their schedule on Friday when Cornell visits the Dome. The Big Red struggled through a 13-18 campaign last season, but are led by All-Ivy League First Team forward Shonn Miller, who averaged 11.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.9 steals, and 1.9 blocks per game. The game will start at 7:00pm Eastern and will be televised by the ACC Regional Sports Network, as well as streamed online at

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About Jim Stechschulte 894 Articles
A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University, Jim has reported on Syracuse sports for the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Southern California on nearly a decade. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by He currently resides in Syracuse.