Syracuse men’s basketball uses its size advantage to dominate Cornell, 80-56, in final nonconference game

first_img Published on December 27, 2016 at 11:45 pm Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21 Facebook Twitter Google+ With no real rim protector and hardly any presence inside, Cornell couldn’t stymie Syracuse’s inside-out attack. As one of the nation’s shortest teams faced one of the tallest, it presented a natural mismatch the Orange exploited from the start.On Syracuse’s first possession, Tyler Lydon received a feed 5 feet from the basket. With his back to the hoop, the sophomore rose up for a jump-hook. He missed, but the approach itself foreshadowed SU’s game plan. Syracuse pounded the ball inside all night, either to a cutting forward or posted-up big.“On a lot of offensive sets, we’re the first options now,” said freshman forward Taurean Thompson, who scored 18 points and grabbed seven boards in 22 minutes. “We got a lot of production down there, so we were always looking for each other in the high post.”The Orange (8-5) powered through Cornell (3-9) in an 80-56 blowout victory Tuesday night in the Carrier Dome. SU established the high post and fed the low block, creating and conserving its opportunities. Syracuse committed only 10 turnovers — its lowest tally since a 22-point win over Boston University on Dec. 10 and just one more than its season low.MORE COVERAGEAdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhat we learned from Syracuse’s 80-56 victory over CornellGraphical breakdown of Syracuse men’s basketball’s 80-56 victory over CornellSyracuse fans react to SU’s 24 point victory over Cornellcenter_img Save for the 105-57 blowout victory over Eastern Michigan last Monday, Syracuse scored more points in the paint (38) than it had since opening night on Nov. 11. On Tuesday, Syracuse outscored Cornell down low 38-30 and had 18 second chance points to Cornell’s six.“Once we got it to the high post, it’s like everything opens up,” Thompson added. “There’s so many things you can do with it. We do a good job utilizing the low post and high post in scoring down low.”Toward the end of the first half, Orange center Dajuan Coleman caught a pass in the high post, turned and lobbed a pass to Lydon’s direction. A Cornell defender had fronted Lydon, but Coleman’s pass floated over his head, into Lydon’s hands. He laid the ball off the glass for two.Those acrobatic maneuvers near the rim from either Thompson, Lydon or Tyler Roberson, who had two dunks, made the Carrier Dome roar, a sharp contrast to six days earlier when fans here saw Jim Boeheim’s worst home loss in 41 years.After Lydon laid it in from Coleman, he caught a pass in the high post and played distributor. The defense swarmed, opening up the baseline for a cutting Thompson. Lydon’s inside game — his ability to seal, establish the high post and hit cutters — stemmed in part from his 3-point tally. He hit 4-of-6 from deep, sucking defenders out.“Tyler (Lydon) and Taurean (Thompson) are a huge threat, especially foul line-in,” said freshman guard Tyus Battle, who went 4-of-7 from 3 and scored 16 points. “Teams have to double them, which opened up the floor for cutters and shooters on the perimeter.”When Syracuse didn’t work the ball inside, players sometimes chucked up distant jumpers early in the shot clock and brought the offense out of rhythm. But still, the Orange regained its balance because even when SU didn’t score near the basket, the size advantage forced Cornell to hedge its defenders low, creating space for cutters and perimeter shooters. SU shot 9-for-23 from deep, a 39-percent clip.“We had a little better movement,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “Andrew (White) got some good looks. He didn’t make them, but I thought we overcame missing those shots. We made some good plays.”Near the end of the shot clock toward the end of the first half, a drawn-out Roberson hit Battle along the baseline for two points. A few possessions later, Gillon slung a pass from the corner to Lydon for a layup. The offense churned and SU cruised.With 8 minutes, 5 seconds remaining, a few fans filed toward the exits. The sight mirrored that of last Wednesday, when Syracuse suffered a 93-60 humiliation to a fledgling St. John’s unit. Only this time, SU was not en route to the program’s worst-ever Carrier Dome defeat. Instead, it had scooted out to a 20-plus point lead that it held onto for its eighth victory of the season. Commentslast_img

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