A quick take on Syracuse’s 93-62 victory against Brown on Monday evening, in front of a more subdued Dome crowd following new university COVID protocols for live events:
WHAT HAPPENED: Playing its first game in 16 days (December 11 at Georgetown), Syracuse (6-5, 1-0) came out on fire building a 14 point lead over the first 10 minutes, but Brown methodically came back to trail by just six at halftime. However, the second half was all Orange. SU went on a 16-to-2 burst to start the half, with Buddy Boeheim scoring 10 points in under three minutes on route to a stellar game-high 28 points, complimented by Jimmy Boeheim who had 13 points. The zone also stiffened holding Brown to just 3-for-14 shooting from three point range in the half, outscoring the Bears 55-30 after halftime.
ANALYSIS: Brown (8-6) also had not played a game in a couple of weeks (December 10), and it took the Bears most of the first half to get their game going, but Syracuse was a different team in the second half. SU tweaked the zone to force Brown into hurried shooting (30%) and turnovers (14). Not only did the Boeheim brothers fill it up points-wise (41) to spark the post halftime blitz, but they had a combined 13 rebounds. SU is a different team when Jesse Edwards (or Frank Anselem) score inside. The duo combined for 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Edwards had three blocks. As a bonus, Bourama Sidibe got into his first game action of the season with just over 4:00 to play coming back from a knee injury, and hit a free throw and grabbed a rebound.
HERO: Joe Girard stood out at both ends with perhaps his best all-around game of the season. Girard found open teammates for a game-high seven assists, was 3-for-5 from long range among his well-placed 15 points, and was active in the zone with five steals. Very quietly, Symir Torrence had seven assists in his 17 minutes off the bench, and drained a trey to boot.
ZERO: It’s picky in the first game played in 16 days, but Syracuse left nine points on the free throw line in the first half. SU was just 7-16 from the stripe before making that meaningless with its second half dominance.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse has a quick turnaround hosting another Ivy League member, Cornell, this Wednesday night, December 29 at the Dome. This game replaces the ACC meeting with Georgia Tech, postponed due to COVID protocols in the Yellow Jackets program. Syracuse last played Cornell in 2019, winning 72-53, and has won 40 straight games in the series dating back to 1968. Jimmy Boeheim was the game’s leading scorer in ’19 with 25 points for the Big Red. Cornell (8-2) last played December 8 falling at Virginia Tech 93-60. Game Time: 7:00 p.m. ET. TV: ACC Regional Sports Networks (YES Network in Syracuse).