No. 18 Syracuse dominated after the opening three minutes, drilling Holy Cross at the Carrier Dome on Tuesday night, 90-46. The Orange (2-0) completely overwhelmed the Crusaders (0-2) after a sloppy start, mostly with a balanced, versatile offense. Seven of the eight SU players who scored rang up at least seven points.
Syracuse had advantages all over the box score, but perhaps the most impressive stat they hung was 31 points off 13 turnovers. The Orange shot almost 58 percent in the game, including 52 percent from behind the arc, and held the Crusaders to under 31 percent from the field.
After three choppy minutes to open the game, SU scored on four straight possessions for an 8-0 run. John Gillon opened the burst with a short baseline jumper, then Tyler Lydon added a pair of lay-ups around a Tyler Roberson jumper to give the Orange a 13-5 lead with just over five-and-a-half minutes elapsed.
Just past the midpoint of the half, Syracuse blew the game open by burying Holy Cross in an avalanche of three-pointers. Andrew White III started the barrage with a pair of bombs, then Tyus Battle dropped in one off a pass from White to give the Orange a 31-14 lead and force a Crusader time out.
That break did not accomplish much for the visitors, as Taurean Thompson hit a jumper and Gillon dropped in a three to make it a run of 14 straight SU points and a 36-14 lead with just under seven minutes left in the half.
Holy Cross drew within 18, but Syracuse closed the half on a 10-2 run that took just over three minutes. Roberson dunked to start things off, then Lydon drove for a lay-up. White III dropped in two sets of free throws around a Crusader lay-up, then Roberson added two from the stripe for a 49-23 halftime lead for the Orange.
The second half mirrored the first for the opening minutes and, again, SU posted an impressive run after a slow start, this time ringing up nine unanswered points. White III buried his fifth three of the game to start the run, then Lydon added a foul shot and a three of his own. Gillon converted a steal into a fast break lay-up to give Syracuse a 63-29 lead less than eight minutes into the half.
Later in the half, Gillon had a hand in every point of a 7-0 burst that lasted just over a minute. First, he delivered a nifty no-look pass to Thompson for a dunk. Gillon then dropped in a swooping lay-up while being fouled and completed the three-point play. The graduate student then finished the run by following up a miss to extend the Orange lead to 73-35 with under nine minutes remaining.
SU still had one more run in them, a streak of a dozen straight points, that pushed the lead to its greatest point at 90-42 with under three minutes to go. Jim Boeheim cleared his bench for the final 2:17, at one point substituting in additional walk-ons for the final minute.
Andrew White III led the Orange with 19 points, including 16 in the first half, hitting five threes for most of his damage. Tyler Lydon added 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting and John Gillon added 15 points along with handing out nine assists off the bench. Tyler Roberson added a dozen points while Taurean Thompson added ten and Tyus Battle chipped in with nine.
The Orange will hit the hardwood again on Friday when they welcome Monmouth to the Carrier Dome. The Hawks (1-1), who garnered seven votes in the most recent AP poll, were clipped in overtime by a buzzer-beater at South Carolina on Tuesday night, 70-69. Tip-off is set for 7:00pm eastern Tuesday night and the game will be available online at ESPN3.com.