A quick take on Syracuse’s 86-71 win over Monmouth:
WHAT HAPPENED: Syracuse found itself in a surprisingly competitive game against the 1-9 Hawks, as a Jack Collins 3-pointer with 15:27 left gave Monmouth a brief 52-51 lead. But a Benny Williams 4-point play sparked an 8-0 run that gave SU a 58-52 lead with 12:23 to go. The Orange went on another 7-0 run a few minutes later, and took a 66-54 lead, and controlled the game the rest of the way.
ANALYSIS: Syracuse played like a team that expected to win rather than a team that wanted to win in the first half. The Hawks shot 6 for 11 from downtown and 17 of 30 overall from the field before intermission, as Collins scored 16 points (one off his career-high 17 earlier in the year against Cornell). Monmouth led by as many as five points in the first half as the Orange fell right into the doldrums. SU’s defense was much tighter in the second half, with the Hawks shooting just 3 for 12. The Orange also made a more concerted effort to take the ball to a smaller Monmouth team, as the Orange went to the line 28 times, hitting 22 free throws.
HERO: Judah Mintz scored 24 points and added five assists, while Jesse Edwards had 12 points and 10 rebounds. Collins ended with a career-high 20 points, but scored just 4 after halftime. Myles Foster added 17. At halftime, Syracuse fans on hand also enjoyed the men’s soccer team defeating Indiana for the school’s first national championship.
ZERO: Outside of Malik Brown (11 points, seven rebounds), SU got little from its bench, as anyone not named Brown scored just 4 points. Syracuse also didn’t try to feature Jesse Edwards enough, as he took just 7 shots the entire evening.
WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse continues its homestand, hosting upstate rival Cornell on Saturday at 3 p.m. TV: ACC Network.