The Syracuse men’s basketball team won their 23rd consecutive game in the Carrier Dome in a 88-57 rout over the Wagner Seahawks Sunday. The win puts the Orange at 2-0 on the season heading in to a home date against Princeton Wednesday night.
It was an all around effort from multiple guys on the team. Brandon Triche scored a game high 21 points, while James Southerland added 15 points of his own along wih 3 blocks. Baye Moussa Keita scored a career high 15 points, while Michael Carter-Williams added a career high 11 assists. Redshirt freshman Trevor Cooney had a team high six steals in a game where he saw a lot more minutes than in the season opener against San Diego State.
Not everything was smooth sailing throughout the afternoon, though. Carter-Williams was stripped a few times coming up the court, and made some questionable decisions offensively at times despite putting up such a high assist number. Coach Boeheim acknowledged his struggles at times, but said MCW is learning and he was impressed with him as a point guard overall on the game:
“Well, at the end of the first half when he went back in, I thought he made three or four really good plays. Brandon [Triche] missed a couple of wide-open jump shots, but he made a good post speed and made a couple of other good passes that would have been easy buckets and we just missed them. I thought he really played like a point guard today, he really got the ball to people and I thought he really did a good job with finding people. He had 11 assists, he probably could have had 15 or 16, if he would have made a couple of jump shots, but it’s a work in progress. He’s learning – he struggled a little bit for a while, but he came right back in and played well. That guard is a really good little defensive guard playing him and it’s good experience for him.”
DaJuan Coleman had some difficulty in the paint once the ball was in his hands, getting stripped while trying to go up with a shot underneath the basket. Coleman appeared to attempt to overpower the Wagner big men, and had some difficulty doing so. Jim Boeheim was asked if Coleman was just getting frustrated with some of his struggles, and the coach said that it was nothing more than some growing pains:
“No, he’s used to that – he’s always gotten that attention and he’s used to being able to just try and make the layup and he can’t do that here. There are big guys out there, he’s got to learn how to use his body – he did a good job of that in that back bucket he made in the first half, he got into the guy with his body and made it. He got hit a couple of times out there, but that’s just the way it goes. He’ll get better, he’s not used to seeing as many big guys as he’s going to see, so it will take some time.”
The Seahawks lead 19-18 before a 12-2 put Wagner away for good. Syracuse played phenomenal defense in the game, forcing 23 turnovers while having 10 blocks. All in all, this was a game that Syracuse fans expected but was a little late to get going. The first 10 minutes of the game we saw some sloppy basketball before seeing the Orange wake up for the final 30 minutes of the game. I think this had a lot to do with a week off between games, and Syracuse appears to be back on track playing good, solid basketball heading in to Wednesday’s matchup with Princeton.