Fast Reactions: Syracuse starts slow but pulls away in the second half to down Southern Connecticut State, 84-59

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on November 6, 2017 at 9:14 pm Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21 In the second of two exhibitions before its season opener, Syracuse erased an early double-digit deficit to handle Southern Connecticut State, a Division II program, 84-59, Monday night inside the Carrier Dome. Tyus Battle led all scorers for the second consecutive game with 20 points. Freshman forward Bourama Sidibe built off his strong showing last week, adding 10 rebounds, eight points and four blocks four days ahead of SU’s season opener Friday against Cornell at 7 p.m.Here are three reactions to Monday’s game against SCSU.Two straight slow startsAt first, Syracuse was lethargic, then it became sloppy, and then Syracuse showed little signs of life. The Orange’s first few possessions signaled a lousy first half against a Division II opponent. Battle traveled on his first touch. Oshae Brissett didn’t hit rim on his first shot attempt. The ball slipped out of Frank Howard’s hands on his first drive. All the while, SU head coach Jim Boeheim was left repeatedly walking down the sideline and calling in a new player.Through six possessions, SU had missed four shots and turned over the ball three times. Its offense involved little off-ball movement, few aggressive dribble drives with any sort of purpose and a whole lot of standing around. The Orange allowed 11 first-half offensive rebounds against a considerably more diminutive lineup.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhen Syracuse went down early last week in an eventual 30-point exhibition win over Southern New Hampshire, SU swapped to a full-court press. Then it quickly became clear who the better team was, as the Orange ripped off a 22-0 run against the Penmen. Not Monday. Syracuse closed out the half on a 9-0 run, but it could not fully erase an 11-turnover and 3-for-18 shooting performance through 13 minutes. SU entered the break down 29-24.The kickstartSyracuse came out of the break seemingly a different team. From the very first possession of the second half, the re-energized Orange demonstrated a new look. Amid a two-man game between Brissett and Howard, Brissett cut inward, separated himself from his defender and popped back out. Howard tossed a pass over to the right wing and Brissett hit the 3-pointer, igniting the Orange on a 14-3 run through the first two-and-a-half minutes of the half. The output built on the 9-0 run to end the first frame, combining for a 23-3 SU advantage. Syracuse maintained relative control the rest of the way.Big threeBattle, Howard and Brissett combined for 55 points (66 percent of SU’s total), orchestrating much of the SU offense via drives and dump offs. Until the 10:30 mark in the second half, they were the only players with more than two points for SU. It is both an encouraging and concerning sign, for the trio lifted SU out of the first-half slump but got little offensive help from anybody else four days before the season opener. Commentslast_img

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