A quick take on Syracuse’s 97-63 win over Lafayette on Tuesday evening to begin the 2021-22 campaign:
WHAT HAPPENED: A 13-0 run capped by a Buddy Boeheim 3-pointer with 10:24 left in the first half gave Syracuse a commanding 25-10 lead. The Orange would continue to pour it on in the second half, as SU used a 10-2 run out of halftime to go up 62-32 with 16:09 to go, and the rout was on from there. Nine different players scored for the Orange, including John Bol Ajak and walk-on Paddy Casey.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse had no issues taking care of business against an inferior Patriot League team, holding the Leopards to 34.8 percent shooting fro the field and 12-40 from downtown. On offense, the Orange did what they are projected to do this season: Shoot the ball often from downtown and at a high percentage. The Orange hit 13 of 26 attempts from beyond the arc, led by Joe Girard’s perfect 5-5 day. And when they were not shooting from the outside, SU used its significant size to dominate 44-18 in the paint.
HERO: Girard led all scorers with 20 points, and also contributed seven assists to just one turnover. Jimmy Boeheim enjoyed his Orange debut, with 18 points on 8-9 shooting and five rebounds, and younger brother Buddy finished with 18 points and six assists. Meanwhile, it was a tale of two halves for Cole Swider in his Orange opener. He was 1-6 in the first half and 1-5 from downtown, but shot better in the second half, hitting one of his two 3-point attempts, and 5-8 from the field for 14 points to go with a game-high 12 rebounds.
ZERO: With just over a minute left in the first half, Ajak found himself with the ball and his man sagged off him, and decided to launch a 3-pointer. Predictably, the shot came nowhere close, barely grazing the bottom of the net, drawing cackles from the crowd and a clap of frustration from Ajak. He did hit a corner jumper in the second half drawing a roar from the crowd and the SU bench.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Orange will host Drexel on Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Carrier Dome. TV: ESPN2.