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Canisius - Syracuse Postgame Reactions OR Slow Start

This picture clearly is from the second half.

Saturday night in the Carrier Dome, two familiar foes met for a game of basketball as part of the "Gotham Classic," some sort of made up "tournament." The match-up? The Syracuse Orange against the Canisius Griffins. For the Orange, this was their first game in a week, having taken some time off for final exams. The rust showed, as Syracuse was sloppy, not playing good defense, and allowing the Griffins to stay in it early. Syracuse only held a 35-32 halftime lead. To be a fly on the wall in the locker room during halftime would have been envious, because I'm sure Coach Boeheim, in no uncertain terms, told his team they needed to play Syracuse basketball. Thankfully, they did just that, reentering the court and pulling away to a 85-61 victory.
  • Several Syracuse players walk away with decent stats from this game, due in large part to the second half effort.
  • The leading scorer was James Southerland, who had 21 points on 9-14 shooting, including 3-6 from three. Also in double digit scoring was Brandon Triche (19), Michael Carter-Williams (12), and Rakeem Christmas (10).
  • MCW recorded yet another double-double with 12 points and 14 assists. Of note is that he only had one assist the entire first half. I see a correlation.
  • The starting five plus James Southerland logged the majority of the minutes for the Orange. Other than those six, the only other player with meaningful time was Baye Moussa Keita with ten minutes.
  • Aside from the offense improving after halftime, the defense really stepped things up in the second half.  Syracuse ended the game with seven blocks and nine steals.
  • Other second half nuggets: Syracuse held the Griffins to two points in the paint and two fast break points in the second half.
  • On the flip side for the second half, Syracuse scored 26 points in the paint and had 12 fast break points.
  • Canisius had 19 turnovers.
  • Billy Baron can ball. Good bloodlines there. Thankfully his 15 points wasn't enough to do it for the Griffins.
  • Isaac Sosa can shoot the three -- Saturday night he hit five of his nine attempts.
  • As a team, though, Canisius shot poorly for the game: 35.1%.
  • Syracuse was 46.4% in the first half and 61.76% in the second for a total of 54.8%.
  • Free throws are becoming an Achilles Heel for the Orange again, as only 50% of their shots from the charity stripe fell in. That's not gonna kill you against a team like Canisius (though it was evident in the first half), but this needs to improve for Syracuse to be successful in close Big East games.
The win against Canisius was career victory 899 for Jim Boeheim. He deflected comments away from the impending milestone during his postgame presser. Do yourself a favor and watch it online. Great presser. Then get yourself ready for possible win 900 Monday night against Detroit. If you can't make it to the Carrier Dome, this game has been moved from ESPNU to ESPN2.

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