3 takeaways Syracuse’s 80-68 win over Cornell

Nov 30, 2021; Syracuse, New York, USA; Syracuse Orange head coach Jim Boeheim reacts to a call against the Indiana Hoosiers during double overtime at the Carrier Dome. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Orange showed up offensively on Wednesday evening, putting up 80 points in 80-68 over Cornell. Here are the main takeaways heading into January and ACC play.

#1: Syracuse relies on offense once again

Syracuse had another stellar offensive showing against Cornell, as SU jumped out to a hot 21-5 start against Cornell. Even though the Big Red would connect on six 3-pointers in the first half’s final seven minutes to pull to within 34-29 at half, the Orange’s offense was more than enough to lift it to its second straight win.

SU was led by Cole Swider’s 21 points and Buddy Boeheim’s 22 as Syracuse shot 56.1 percent from the field. Though the Orange only connected on six of 20 3-pointers, Syracuse made a concerted effort to get inside, hitting 26 of 47 attempts (55 percent).

That led to Syracuse outscoring Cornell 40-14 in the paint.

#2: Defensive woes continue to be a focal point

Cornell fell behind by 16 points early on, but rallied to within five points at halftime, and was still within single digits in the closing minutes of the game thanks to its outside shooting.

The Big Red finished with 15 3s on 32.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc, attempting a school record 44 shots from distance in the loss. In particular, SU struggled to locate Keller Boothby and Guy Ragland Jr., who combined for 10 for 19 shooting from downtown.

It continues a troubling trend for SU, who has allowed teams to shoot 33.7 percent from 3-point land, which is 204th in the NCAA. By comparison, last year’s team allowed 30.8 percent.

“Our defense was pretty good in the second half but we got away from it a little bit,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said.
They have two really good shooters and they are hard to play because they pressure you.”

#3: Orange look to convert recent success to ACC play in the new year

If Syracuse is going to rely on its offense for wins, it will need shooting like its gotten from Cole Swider and Buddy Boeheim over their last two games. Buddy has shot 4 for 10 in his last two games from downtown, while Swider has gone 6 for 8.

» Related: Jimmy Boeheim scores 16 against his old team as Syracuse holds off Cornell

That’s raised Swider’s 3-point percentage up to 32.3 and Buddy’s percentage up to 30.9. Both had been shooting in the 20s for much of the season.

The two will be critical to SU’s postseason chances as it starts its ACC schedule against Virginia on Saturday.

“Every single game is important for us,” Swider said. “The break set us back a little but each and every day we are trying to get better. We are using the mantra of a new season, and we are excited for ACC play.”

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About Brett Gustin 71 Articles
Brett is from Canastota, NY, and is currently attending Falk college at Syracuse University studying Sports Analytics. Being a Central New York native, Brett has been passionate about Syracuse sports for his whole life. He covers all Syracuse athletics.