Syracuse routs Le Moyne in revenge-driven exhibition wire reports

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- There won't be any congratulatory phone calls and e-mails from stunned Le Moyne alumni, and most of the TV highlights will feature orange-and-white-clad Syracuse players draining long shots from all around the Carrier Dome.

Division II Le Moyne shocked Syracuse a year ago in an exhibition game, and the memory never faded as the Orange exacted a measure of revenge on Tuesday night.

Scoop Jardine, James Southerland and Dion Waiters each had 13 points and No. 10 Syracuse hit 11 of 16 from beyond the arc to beat the Dolphins 91-48.

"We're ready to go," Jardine said. "We got a lot of open shots, a lot of good looks. Our defense picked up and we made our 3s."

It was the second and final tuneup for the Orange, who beat Kutztown 96-60 a week ago. Syracuse opens the season at home against Northern Iowa on Friday night.

"These two games couldn't have been better. You don't always win these exhibition games," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said with a wry smile. "At this stage, we've made pretty good progress."

Chris Johnson hit six 3s and led Le Moyne with 23 points, and Nate Champion had nine points.

Kris Joseph had 12 points for Syracuse, and Brandon Triche and Mookie Jones each had nine as Syracuse outrebounded the smaller Dolphins 43-20, 11-0 on the offensive glass in the second half.

Johnson, Le Moyne's leading returning scorer, hit the game-winning 3 in the closing seconds that beat the Orange 82-79 a year ago. There was no chance of anything like that happening again on this night.

Despite a solid, disciplined performance by the Dolphins, who returned two starters from last season's squad that went 18-10, Syracuse assumed control with a barrage of 3-pointers in the first half.

Joseph, Southerland, and Jones each hit two from beyond the arc as Syracuse made 6 of 10.

"I'm just trying to be more consistent hitting my shots," said Joseph, who was 4 of 5 from the floor. "We're ready. These games really got us prepared to execute our offense and execute our defensive strategy."

After Johnson's 3 from the right corner moved Le Moyne within 27-21 with 6:57 left, Southerland swished a 3 from the left side and Jones hit another from the left corner to key a 10-0 run.

Southerland's second 3 made it 40-23 with 1:48 left as Syracuse gained a 41-25 halftime lead.

The Orange opened the second half with a 14-0 spurt as they extended their long, imposing zone defense. Fab Melo's block down low sent Triche on a fast-break layup and Jardine set up Joseph for a two-handed slam dunk for a 55-25 lead at 16:36.

Boeheim started the same five as he did a week ago: Jardine, Rick Jackson, Joseph, Triche, and the 7-foot Melo at center. Ten players logged at least 16 minutes and four played 30 or more as the Orange reserves contributed 48 points.

"We know they can make plays, but a lot of those shots were contested shots," Le Moyne coach Steve Evans said. "I thought we hung tough for a while, but the fact that they can come with a second wave and a third wave, we just kind of ran out of gas and I think it showed.

"We tried to run the clock down and run some set plays, but they're so long it just makes it difficult," Evans said. "If they're playing zone and you're afraid of getting pounded inside, pick your poison. There's not really a scouting report when you're as much of an underdog as we are. You've got to hope they miss shots, but when they started making shots and then the penetration started, you start looking up at the scoreboard. That's when it gets tough."

It was the first and only exhibition game for the Dolphins, who host Queens in their regular-season opener on Saturday. Le Moyne was picked to finish 13th in the Northeast-10 Conference in the preseason coaches poll.

Though the Dolphins were humbled, they left the Carrier Dome smiling a little bit.

"They started to extend it [the zone] out, trying to push us farther and farther away," said Johnson, who converted a four-point play in the waning minutes. "Luckily, I stayed hot. This is just giving me a lot of confidence. If I can do this against a team like Syracuse, I can do this against anyone in our conference."

Syracuse and Le Moyne have played six times during the regular season with the Orange winning all six at home. Following last year's loss, Syracuse opened the season with 13 straight victories and made it to No. 1 in the AP Top 25 late in the season.

"We had a chip on our shoulder from last year," Joseph said.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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