A quick take on Syracuse’s 75-45 win over Niagara on Thursday night at the Carrier Dome:
WHAT HAPPENED: After Nicholas Kratholm’s layup with 10:55 left in the first half cut Syracuse’s lead to 20-16, Syracuse went on a 19-0 run. Woody Newton’s free throw with 5:07 before intermission capped the run to make the score 39-16, and the Orange was able to empty its bench in the second half. Noticeably absent from the lineup was shooting guard Buddy Boeheim, who may miss several games because an unnamed member of the SU team tested positive for the virus, and Boeheim was involved in the contact tracing protocol.
ANALYSIS: One game after escaping an embarrassing upset against Bryant, the Orange, and specifically their 2-3 zone, looked significantly better against the Purple Eagles. Niagara was content to attempt beating the zone by shooting over the top of it, with little success, finishing just 6-36 from beyond the arc. For the game, the Purple Eagles shot 27 percent from the field and committed nearly as many turnovers (17) as field goals (18). Part of the reason may have been Kadary Richmond, starting for the quarantined Boeheim. Showing plenty of poise for a freshman, Richmond’s length at 6’5″ was a constant disruption on defense, as he finished with 16 points, seven rebounds, six assists, four steals and three blocks.
HERO: Quincy Guerrier played the best game of his Orange career, with a career-high 23 points and 13 rebounds. Woody Newton saw his first action with Syracuse, logging nine points and five rebounds. With the game well out of hand late in the second half, John Bol Ajak, a redshirt freshman, also saw the floor for the first time.
ZERO: One game after scoring just six points on 2-14 shooting and 2-9 from beyond the arc, Girard struggled again, shooting 3-11 from the field and 1-6 from downtown for eight points along with four turnovers. Alan Griffin wasn’t much better, going 3-13 from the field for 10 points.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse gets a day off and returns to action against Rider on Dec. 5 at 7 p.m.