A quick take on Syracuse’s first win of the season, a 70-54 win over Colgate on Wednesday evening at the Carrier Dome:
WHAT HAPPENED: With just over 17 minutes to go in the second half, Syracuse was was up 35-28 after a Tucker Richardson 3-pointer. From there, Syracuse went on an 11-0 run capped by a jumper from Buddy Boeheim to give the Orange a 46-28 lead with 12:26 left. The lead would balloon to as many as 24 points after that, which allowed Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim to empty his bench, with first appearances of the season for Robert Braswell and Howard Washington. Things did not start as well for the Orange, who found themselves down 9-1 six minutes into the first half. But Bourama Sidibe scored four straight points to jump the offense, and a pair of Boeheim 3-pointers tied the score at 11 with 11:15 before intermission.
ANALYSIS: It’s only the second game of the season, but Boeheim gave clues as to how he views his rotation. Though Jalen Carey started, he played only five minutes before yielding to Joe Girard, who played 19 minutes, three more than Brycen Goodine (16). Not so coincidentally, the offense began to hum with Girard in, and after the win, Boeheim announced that Girard would be the starter for Saturday’s game against Seattle. The only other bench player to log any significant minutes in the first half was freshman forward Quincy Gurrier, who ended up with 16. The starters plus Guerrier and Goodine may prove to be the extent of Boeheim’s bench this year, with an occasional appearance from another freshman, center Jessie Edwards (13 minutes), when the situation calls for it.
HERO: This is not the Colgate team that Syracuse is used to dominating. The Raiders ended a 22 year NCAA drought last year, setting a school record for wins (24) while capturing the Patriot League. Colgate has similar aspirations this year, so a 16-point win is not something to be taken lightly. Syracuse’s defense held the shot-happy Raiders to 30 percent from the field and 13-41 from downtown, and it also forced 15 turnovers. Sidibe (12 points, 14 rebounds), Elijah Hughes (14 points, 8 assists) and Buddy Boeheim (17 points, 6 rebounds) had standout performances for SU.
ZERO: Rapolas Ivanauskas (2-10 from the field, 0-3 from downtown) and Nelly Cummings (3-11, 2-9) couldn’t find their strokes against the 2-3 zone.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Orange will remain at home, hosting Seattle on Nov. 16 at 7 p.m.