The first half was pretty much as bad as it can get for Syracuse. The Orange were outscored, outhustled and outplayed and they entered the locker room down with 29 points and a six point deficit on the board. The second half was significantly better as the Orange pulled away late in a 79-66 win over St. Bonaventure.
Tyler Roberson was invisible for the first ten minutes of the game but he slowly came alive as the first half wore on. As he came alive, so did the Orange. However, Roberson and DaJuan Coleman just couldn’t produce to the level the Orange needed.
While Roberson began to find his game on the glass and down low, Coleman continued his very slow start to the season. He did not register a point or a rebound in the first half. Coleman and Roberson combined for only three field goal attempts. The Orange will struggle against almost every opponent if they cannot find a way to get the ball down low on offense.
Syracuse was the bigger team on the court against St. Bonaventure. Their big guys just couldn’t do anything against the Bonnies. If Syracuse struggled to find a frontcourt presence against St. Bonaventure –no disrespect to the Bonnies– they have little to no chance of competing once the calendar turns to the the conference schedule.
Coleman got the second half underway with a promising drive to the hoop for an easy two. Then, he vanished for much of the second half. In fact, it wasn’t Roberson or Coleman who made the biggest impact in the front court, it was freshman Tyler Lydon.
The highlight of his night was on the offensive end when he tied the game at 54 with a three pointer. He built off of his solid performance against Lehigh, posting 13 points, 6 rebounds and a block.
As Lydon went, so did his partner down low, Tyler Roberson. Once Lydon began to make his presence felt, Roberson started to haul in rebounds like he did so often last year. However, the Orange were without Roberson for the final stretch has he fouled out with about five minutes to go.
However, once Lydon got into his groove, many of the front court troubles were slowly alleviated. With that said, the Orange were still far too soft on rebounds at the stats reflected that.
A smaller Bonnie team out-rebounded the Orange 43-33 and managed to bring in 24 offensive boards.
Lydon wil most likely not get much attention following Tuesday’s win. He will be overshadowed by Michael Gbinije, Trevor Cooney and Malachi Richardson who combined for 57 of Syracuse’s 79 points. However, the player who may have saved the game for the Orange, is that “other freshman” Tyler Lydon.