The Orange got back on track in a big way after a disappointing home loss to Georgetown with a 105-57 win over Eastern Michigan on Monday night. The Orange, yet again, got off to a hot start from the field, but this time, they kept their foot on the pedal and cruised to an easy and convincing victory. The opponent may have been weaker but Syracuse was convincing in their domination, giving Syracuse fans some sort of glimmer of hope as the calendar year winds down.
Things really started clicking for the Orange when Boeheim employed Tyler Lydon and Taurean Thompson together at the forward positions. The two big-men picked apart the Eagles’ zone en route to a combined 21 points and 10 rebounds before the break. However, the Orange do have some cause for concern after Tyler Lydon left the game with 4:19 to go in the first half. He did not return and Syracuse announced that Lydon suffered a strained right Achilles.
After the game Jim Boeheim said that he didn’t see the play that resulted in Lydon’s injury and when he was asked if Lydon would be available for the game against St. John’s he simply said, “I don’t know”. The silver lining is that ESPN said on the television broadcast that Lydon could have returned tonight if the Orange absolutely needed him. Needless to say, they didn’t need him tonight but they were certainly need him going forward.
Even after Lydon left the game, the Orange continued to click on offense in the first half. Syracuse went into the half with a 52-24 lead and had 20 assists on 20 made field goals, eight assists coming from the hands of John Gillon. The second half brought more of the same.
Andrew White III finally put in a complete game performance. He has so often hit shots left and right in the first half, only to stumble in the second half. On Monday, he had 14 points of 5-10 shooting, including 4-8 from downtown. The team as a whole shot very well from the field (59%), including 54% from three. Syracuse spread the rock around with all eight players getting into double figures. That is the first time since Syracuse started keeping that stat in 2003-04 that the Orange had more than six players score at least ten points.