Syracuse shows cohesion in opening win over Lafayette

Nov 9, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim speaks to the media following SU's 97-63 win over Lafayette at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brett Gustin/The Juice Online.

Lafayette scored the opening basket of the game, but Jimmy Boeheim responded with the first eight points for Syracuse in his debut, setting the Orange on the right track for an eventual 97-63 win in the season opener for both squads.

When the rest of the SU squad got into the party a couple minutes later, they blew the game open with 13 straight points for a 25-7 lead midway through the opening half, effectively ending the game. Syracuse led by as many as 26 points in the first half en route to a 52-30 halftime lead.

Just about everything went the way of the Orange, who made 13 three-pointers on 50 percent shooting from behind the arc. The Leopards shot just 34.3 percent for the game and only 29.3 percent on 41 attempts from deep.

In addition to the first half barrage of a baker’s dozen, SU also posted a 10-2 run to start the second half and an 11-0 burst late in the game.

» Related: Our comprehensive 2021-22 Syracuse basketball preview

As was probably expected, Syracuse dominated the glass, finishing with a 48-30 advantage in rebounding and grabbing over 82 percent of all possible defensive rebounds. The Orange also showed a propensity for selfless play, racking up 26 assists on 37 field goals with half the helpers coming from the starting guards.

Joe Girard III paced the Orange offense with 20 points, hitting all five of his three-point attempts, while handing out seven assists against a single turnover. Buddy Boeheim and Jimmy Boeheim each piled up 18 points in the contest, the former handing out six assists while the latter shot 8-for-9 from the field.

Cole Swider had 14 points and 12 rebounds for his first career double-double while Jesse Edwards had 11 points and three blocked shots.

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About Jim Stechschulte 894 Articles
A 1996 graduate of Syracuse University, Jim has reported on Syracuse sports for the Syracuse University Alumni Club of Southern California on nearly a decade. He has also written a fantasy basketball column published by He currently resides in Syracuse.