A quick take on Syracuse 82-60 win over Montana State on Tuesday evening at the Carrier Dome:
WHAT HAPPENED: In Syracuse’s penultimate tuneup before the start of ACC play, the Orange used a 10-0 run early in the first half to take a 14-5 lead with 13:35 left in the first half. A 7-0 run starting from late in the first half and extending to 18:58 in the second half would put the Orange up 36-20, and SU would lead by double-digits the rest of the night.
ANALYSIS: With only one player in its starting lineup taller than 6 foot 4, the Bobcats had a difficult time containing the Orange inside attack. SU enjoyed a rare positive margin on the boards, finishing +3. Both of Syracuse’s true centers, Chinoso Obokoh and Dajuan Coleman enjoyed their best games of the season, combining for 24 points and 10 rebounds. That led to the Orange shooting 47 percent from the field. But SU continues to struggle shooting the ball from deep, shooting at just a 7 for 25 clip. Freshman Malachi Richardson was one of the main culprits, missing all four of his attempts from beyond the arc. The Orange simply won’t be able to dominate inside against bigger, stronger ACC teams, and will need to find its outside shooting to remain competitive.
HERO: Obokoh’s previous career-high in points was 4, and he more than doubled that with 11 points to go with five rebounds. Michael Gbinije (who else?) led Syracuse with 17 points and chipped in five rebounds and five assists.
ZERO: Montana State, picked to finished second to last in the Big Sky Conference in the preseason, couldn’t do much on offense against the Orange. The Bobcats shot just 35.9 percent from the field, 9-32 from downtown, and 5-14 from the free throw line. Guards Quinton Everett and Stephan Holm combined for 2-13 shooting from the field and 1-8 from 3.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse closes its non-conference schedule against Texas Southern on Dec. 27 at 2p.m. TV: ESPNU.