The Syracuse Orange improved to 2-0 in conference play in a low scoring 55-44 win over the South Florida Bulls down in Tampa this afternoon. The crowd was mostly pro-Orange, with a lot of Syracuse fans in the building that could be heard throughout the afternoon on the Big East Network broadcast.
The game was ugly in the beginning, with Syracuse scoring just 7 points in the first seven minutes of play. The Orange found themselves down 17-7, before putting on a 23-5 run in the first half to give them the lead. Syracuse never relinquished the lead that got as high as 11 and a low as 5 in the second half. The tempo was not in the Orange’s favor throughout the afternoon, but Syracuse still looked comfortable running the half court offense, despite committing 10 turnovers.
Brandon Triche led the way for Syracuse with 20 points. James Southerland contributed 17 points, and CJ Fair posted a double-double with ten points and ten rebounds. Michael Carter-Williams struggled mightily on 1-13 shooting, but still found a way to contribute 5 assists.
Victor Rudd put up ten points in the first half for the Bulls, and finished the game with 15. He started the game off playing well, but the zone eventually confused the Bulls in the low scoring effort. Jawanza Polland scored 12 points for South Florida, including two three pointers.
This was a fun game to watch because we got to see Syracuse taken out of their style of play, and still execute relatively well. The Orange fell behind early and was really limited in their tempo for the game, but still found a way to run their offense and get their play makers the ball. Brandon Triche had another great game, and seems like it is going to be extremely difficult for anyone to guard him this season when he gets aggressive. He is strong enough to drive to the rim, and if the defense gives him any cushion he is more than capable of hitting the mid range jump shot off the dribble. Triche seems to be one of the go to guys early on, and it should be of little surprise to anyone.
The Orange next head to Rhode Island to take on the Providence Friars on Wednesday.