Kris Joseph and James Southerland each scored 19 points, and Syracuse beat upstate New York foe Albany 98-74 in the NIT Season Tipoff on Tuesday night.
The Orange (3-0) beat Manhattan 92-56 in the first round on Monday night with a high-tempo attack that produced 42 points on the fast break, while the reserves contributed 50 points. This time they dominated the boards 47-29 and scored 60 points in the paint with the bench contributing 49 points.
"We out-rebounded by 18. That's a team effort," said 6-foot-10 Baye Keita, who had a career-high 14 points on 6 of 6 shooting. "Everybody was going to the glass."
In the end, it didn't matter that Albany (1-2) made 26 of 33 free throws. The Great Danes struggled to run their normal offense because Syracuse was bigger and because the Orange's four guards combined for 19 assists with only three turnovers. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim used 11 players in the game, and 10 had at least 14 minutes.
|NIT Season Tip-Off|
Southerland's total also was a career high. He was 8 of 12 from the field and 3 of 4 behind the arc.
"I was basically thinking on to the next play because when you're in scoring mode, you're not really satisfied with the points you had in the past," said Southerland, who had 14 points in the first half. "You're just trying to get more, and help the team out in any way possible."
Syracuse advanced to the tournament semifinals on Wednesday night against Virginia Tech (3-0) in New York.
Junior college transfer Gerardo Suero had a season-high 31 points, Logan Aronhalt added 20 and Mike Black had 11 for the Great Danes.
Suero had 16 points in the first half, going 9 for 9 from the foul line, and the game was tied three times in the first 8 minutes before the Orange gradually assumed control.
"That first half, we got to a guy but we didn't hit a guy and drive a guy," Brown said. "We tried to get our guys to understand that we're not getting height rebounds against them. They're so darn athletic that if you don't get the rebound you've got to make sure your guy doesn't get the rebound.
"But they're big at every position," Brown said. "When their point guards and off guards are as big as our power forwards, it's not a good formula for success for us. The length is ridiculous."
Syracuse had 16 second-chance points in the opening half, outrebounding the Great Danes 28-13 -- 15-5 on the offensive glass.
After Suero tied the game at 16 with a pair of free throws at 12:52, Syracuse took off on a 14-2 run.
Freshman guard Michael Carter-Williams began the spurt by setting up 7-foot Fab Melo for an easy lay-in. Melo converted a follow the next time down the floor, and Southerland hit a 3-pointer from the right corner and followed with another 3 after a miss by Dion Waiters. Melo completed the surge by sending Joseph in for a short jumper in the lane.
When the Great Danes tried to penetrate, they had trouble making it through all those long arms. Keita, Melo's partner in the paint, registered a block on Sam Rowley, hit a layup at the other end then swatted away a shot in the lane by Suero on Albany's next trip down the court. The frustration was visible on Suero's face as he stared down at the court.
"They were so big. I like to penetrate, and kick it out to my teammate. I couldn't do that," Suero said. "I was getting mad."
Still, the Danes were in the game. Black fed Suero for a 3 from the right wing and Aronhalt drained another from long range to pull Albany to 38-29 with 6:03 to go, but Waiters scored six points and Joseph had five as the Orange closed the half with a 13-5 surge for a 51-34 lead.
A 3-pointer by Scoop Jardine and Jardine's lob to Brandon Triche on consecutive possessions in the second half gave the Orange a 62-37 advantage at 16:03. They led by as many as 29.
"Syracuse is top five in the country for a reason," Black said. "They're tremendously big. It's kind of hard to get the passing angles. We just wanted to compete out there and that's what we did. I remember telling Coach Brown I couldn't see, especially in the middle."