A quick take on Syracuse’s 71-50 win over Monmouth in the Brooklyn Hoops Holiday Invitational on Friday evening:
WHAT HAPPENED: Andrew White started on a torrid pace, scoring 18 first half points to lead the Orange to a 37-29 lead in what was a one-man offensive showcase. White was held scoreless in the second half, but the SU defense more than made up for it, limiting the Hawks to 21 percent shooting in the second half and 1 for 18 shooting from beyond the arc as the Orange passed its toughest test of the early season.
ANALYSIS: The matchup was a pair of teams that stirred controversy in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Monmouth was one of the last teams left out of the tournament despite an impressive regular season loaded with wins over Power 5 teams. Meanwhile, many felt that Syracuse didn’t belong after limping to a 9-9 record in the ACC and a ninth place finish. But in a head-to-head matchup this season, the Orange showed it was the superior team despite an off-night offensively, when SU shot just 42 percent from the field and 8 for 23 from downtown.
HERO: White finished with a team-high 18 points, but all of his damage was done in the first half. He missed all five of his shots in the second half. Taurean Thompson scored 12 points in 13 mounts off the bench, adding two rebounds and two steals.
ZERO: Syracuse reserve center Paschal Chukwu auditioned goggles against the Hawks, but the headpiece didn’t last long. Chukwu would go on to grab four rebounds and add two blocks in 10 minutes of play. Meanwhile, Tyler Lydon has struggled in two of three regular season games and both exhibitions. Tonight, he scored just six points on 2-9 shooting, missing both of his 3-point attempts.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse will next play South Carolina State on Nov. 22 at 7 p.m. at the Carrier Dome.