November 13, 2013
SYRACUSE (Newhouse Sports Media Center) — Unlike their first half performance in last Friday’s game against Cornell, the Syracuse men’s basketball team had an explosive start in the first half against Fordham Tuesday night. The Orange led 46-21 at the half and went on to win it 89-74. Just under five minutes into the game, the Orange […]
SYRACUSE (Newhouse Sports Media Center) — Unlike their first half performance in last Friday’s game against Cornell, the Syracuse men’s basketball team had an explosive start in the first half against Fordham Tuesday night. The Orange led 46-21 at the half and went on to win it 89-74.
Just under five minutes into the game, the Orange pulled out a 10 point lead against the Rams. Syracuse shot 53 percent in the first half and 70 percent from the free throw line. The Orange’s defense matched its strong offensive start in the first half with Syracuse holding Fordham to only six points in the paint and seven offensive rebounds.
“First half we were pretty good, ” head coach Jim Boeheim said. ” We did a pretty good job defensively. I think Fordham is a pretty good team offensively and we held them to 21 points and they made a couple of tough shots in that group.”
But the second half did not go as smoothly for the Orange. Entering the second half with a 25 point lead, Syracuse relaxed on defense letting Fordham cut the lead to 12 points. The Orange allowed Fordham’s guard Branden Frazier to score 19 of his 33 total points in the second half.
“I think we felt we had control of the game, ” said Boeheim. ” We lost our defensive edge and they took advantage of it. It’s something we obviously have to work on.”
A bit of the Orange’s defensive woes resulted from having to adjust to the new NCAA rule changes involving enforcement of hand-checking that went in affect this season. This translates to more foul shots and potential foul trouble for teams. In tonight’s game, Syracuse shot 42 free throws and Fordham shot 30 combining for a total of 55 fouls called in the game. Syracuse had three players, Rakeem Christmas, Trevor Cooney, and Michael Gbinije with four fouls. Fordham’s Ryan Rhoomes, Bryan Smith, and Travion Leonard all fouled out of the game.
“They’re going to call fouls,” Boeheim said. “You’ve got to be able to play without fouling. When we got into foul trouble we stopped guarding and you can not do that. They are going to call fouls. It’s going to be that way. Every game I watched today and last night, they are calling these fouls so we have to adjust to it.”
“I can see why they changed it but I think it kind of takes away from the game, ” said forward C.J. Fair. “It is just now a free throw contest. It slowed the game down and kind of got us out of sync on offense. It’s something we got to adjust to though.”
Fair led the Orange with 26 points, including 7 of 7 from the line. Syracuse had three other players score double digit points. Guard Tyler Ennis and forward Jerami Grant both chipped in 16 points. Center DaJuan Coleman added 10.
The Orange hosts Colgate University Saturday. Tip off is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Watch Head Coach Jim Boeheim’s postgame news conference here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CRcu0WMz2I