Jimmy Boeheim looked like the best player on the floor for long stretches of the game. Cornell’s best player led both teams in scoring with 25 points, but the Big Red eventually fell 72-53 in the Dome. And while Buddy Boeheim always hopes his older brother success, he thought he did a little too well tonight.
“You never want him to get that many points, I wish he had like 10 or something,” Boeheim said.
But in the second half the Orange started to open up the game after forcing the ball inside. Marek Dolezaj began to look for his own shot, including a coast-to-coast layup. He ended up with eight points on 3 of 4 shooting. And Quincy Guerrier showed up once again, grabbing five boards to go along with 10 points, third best on the team.
On a night where Joe Girard had a quiet night offensively, the rest of the team stepped up. Early on, with Girard, Elijah Hughes, and Boeheim struggling, it was unclear where SU was going to find its scoring. Far too often a player would drive to the rim, Cornell’s defense would collapse, and a pass to an open shooter would clunk off the iron.
But Syracuse continued to play lockdown defense – well on everyone not named Jimmy Boeheim. Cornell’s Jordan Jones was its only other player to score in double digits, finishing with 15. And outside of Boeheim and Jones, the rest of the Big Red offense was ice cold – ending with just 13 points.
After a sloppy first half, Syracuse regrouped in the second. On a night where the Orange shot just 28.6% from three in the first half, it still got the job done. That might work against Cornell, but it won’t once ACC play rolls around. When the three point shots aren’t falling, it’s hard for SU to score. Jim Boeheim noted that if Syracuse intends to be a three point shooting team, it won’t get to the line very often. But when Syracuse gets hot, its difficult to slow down the trio of shooters.
Similar to how difficult it is to slow down Jimmy Boeheim when he gets hot.
“I don’t really like coaching against my son,” Boeheim said. “But you know, you got to do it once a year, we go to get through it. But he played really well and I’m sure his mother’s happy.”
“I am!” Juli Boeheim chimed in.