Taurean Thompson isn’t really one for cell phones.
He didn’t start using his until he came to college.
But he will put it to good use this afternoon after his 22 points and seven rebounds off the bench in Syracuse’s (6-3) 99-77 win over Boston (4-6). The first person he’s calling? His mother. But she may not be as happy with her son as Orange fans are.
“She hates it when I score,” Thompson said with a laugh. “She just wants me to get rebounds and block shots. Every time I score, she’ll be like ‘Now get a rebound! Now get a block!’”
Thompson was beaming with confidence all afternoon. He even pulled up and knocked down a second half three, the first of his college career.
“My jump shot was feeling good,” Thompson said. “I feel like [our team] got off to a pretty slow start and I just wanted to impact the game as much as I can.”
Thompson was not alone off the pine. After back-to-back scoreless performances, John Gillon torched the Terriers all afternoon, posting a team-high 23 points. The grad transfer was scorching from behind the arc as well, going 6-7 from three.
“Once you produce a little bit, then you get left out there longer and then it’s a snowball effect from there,” Gillon said.
It was not all sunshine and rainbows for the Orange. SU trailed Boston for more than eight minutes in the first half. But the second half saw a completely different Syracuse team. The Orange rattled off a 36-12 run to start the second half and built a lead that never dipped below 22 from that point on.
“We knew we would pick it up, especially offensively,” freshman Tyus Battle said. “But guys stepped up big today and that just shows how deep our team is. Anyone can step up on a certain night.”
Battle pitched in seven points in reserve as a part of Syracuse’s 55 bench points.
The win gives the Orange something to hang its hat on after losing three of its previous four games. With a full week off before SU renews another Big East rivalry in the form of Georgetown, Syracuse can be confident that it can call upon guys like Thompson.
And today, he proved he can answer that call.