After yesterday’s disastrous performance against VCU, one would’ve figured Syracuse was destined to go 0-3 in the Battle 4 Atlantis. However, the Orange got the right side of the wishbone on Thanksgiving, handling Arizona State from start to finish.
The game began as SU’s contests typically do. The Boeheim brothers came out gunning, scoring 9 of the Orange’s first 11 points. Buddy led SU with 17 first-half points. It was back-and-forth throughout the first 10 minutes, as the Sun Devils were able to exploit the bottom of the zone.
However, Jim Boheim’s crew took control at the seven-minute mark. Syracuse ended the first half on an 21-4 run, which started with a Joe Girard triple and was fueled by two threes from Cole Swider, who scored a SU career-high 19 points. The Orange went to the half with a comfortable 18-point lead.
The second 20 minutes began as a shootout. Four consecutive treys began the second half scoring, and both teams traded buckets until the 10-minute mark. There was a two-minute scoring drought, and then ASU applied the press. Syracuse turned the ball over eight times in the second half, struggling to create offense and get the ball over halfcourt. Luckily, the lead was wide enough that a late Sun Devil surge didn’t matter. Let’s get into the takeaways:
Jesse’s Big Day
The book on Jesse Edwards is he’s up, and he’s down. You can’t expect the Dutch center to consistently perform throughout the span of a full game. Well today, he bucked the trend. A career-high 21 points on an extremely efficient 9-11 from the field, tagging on eight boards and only picking up one foul. The only caveat? Arizona State doesn’t have much size. If Edwards can carry this over to tomorrow, where the Orange face an Auburn team with big bodies, Syracuse can begin to see the light when it returns to the mainland.
Slick Shooters, especially Swider
The Orange returned to the mean from the field. A 50% day from the floor and a sweet 42% from behind the arc. All five starters were in double figures, and only Buddy Boeheim (7-17) made fewer than half his field goals. On the topic of Cole Swider, everyone and their mother knew the Villanova transfer needed a big game to get back on track. Swider did foul out, but 19 points, including four threes, is a huge boost to get an important role player going.
Barely Any Bench
Yesterday, Syracuse’s bench scored zero points. So today, Jim Boeheim shut it down. The most minutes played off the bench? Six, by Symir Torrence and Benny Williams. It’s clear this is going to be a typical Boeheim rotation. Tightly controlled, with two or three bodies coming in to spell the starters or relieve foul trouble. It probably is for the best, but any injury throws this team through a loop.