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Thursday, Nov 14, 2019 at 12:23 am

Syracuse Men’s Basketball Wins its First Game of the Season

By Jenna Fink

CitrusTV Men’s Basketball Beat Reporter

It took six minutes for Syracuse (1-1, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) to make a basket. But once they did, there was no stopping them. The Orange cruised by Colgate (1-2, 0-0 Patriot League) 70-54 and improved to 1-1 on the season.

The Raiders proved their shooting talent behind the arc early. Colgate scored three 3-pointers to take a 9-1 lead. It was a similar situation to the Virginia game, where SU scored two points in the first 10 minutes of play.

“In this second game, we had to rely on our defense,” Head Coach Jim Boeheim said. “Our defense was really good in keeping the game reasonable, which we did against Virginia too. But we have to get our offense going better.”

Bourama Sidibe scored the first basket for Syracuse. He was a crucial piece in this victory with his third career double-double as the junior finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Not to mention, he was a perfect 6/6 from the field.

“The difference was that Bourama was active down low,” Boeheim said. “He finished around the basket, and we looked for him better. I thought he really played well.”

Sidibe, who struggled with injury in his freshman and sophomore years, said he focused on the defensive side of the ball.

“The main thing for me was trying to get defensive stops,” Sidibe said. “Making sure if they are within the free-throw line that they don’t get an open shot.”

Two other players scored in double figures for the Orange. Sophomore Buddy Boeheim led all scorers with 17 points, and Elijah Hughes scored 14. A total of ten different players scored for the ‘Cuse.

Boeheim also complimented Joe Girard III’s performance. The freshman only scored five points, but his presence on the court energized the game.

“I thought Joe did a good job of just maintaining,” Boeheim said. He didn’t score a lot. But I thought he stabilized us a bit.”

Boeheim also announced Girard would start at point guard on Saturday in place of sophomore Jalen Carey.

In the second half, Syracuse fired on all cylinders. Marek Dolezaj brought the crowd to its feet with a coast-to-coast slam dunk. The junior looked very comfortable, finishing with seven points. The Orange’s run brought the lead to as much as 34 points.

SU stifled Colgate offense in the second half. The Raiders had a six-minute scoring drought. Jordan Burns and Nelly Cummings paced Colgate, with 12 and 10 total points respectively. No other Raider had more than six points.

The ‘Cuse got better looks throughout the game. SU shot 51 percent from the field and 41 percent from downtown. Compare that to 30 percent from the field and 32 percent from deep for Colgate. On top of that, the Orange outrebounded the Raiders 42-31.

The victory marks Syracuse’s 54th straight win over Colgate. That’s the longest current streak against a single opponent in division one men’s basketball.

Syracuse is back in action Saturday as it hosts Seattle (2-2, 0-0 Western Athletic). Tip-off is set for 7 pm.

jmfink@syr.edu | @Jennamfink