Men's Basketball

Fast reaction: 3 quick takeaways from Syracuse men’s basketball’s 70-55 victory over Miami

Jacob Greenfeld | Asst. Photo Editor

Tyler Lydon anchored the SU defense in holding Miami to 55 points, 41 fewer than Boston College put up against the Orange on Sunday.

Syracuse picked up a much-needed win against Miami in the Carrier Dome Wednesday night, beating the Hurricanes (11-3, 1-1 Atlantic Coast), 70-55. The Orange (9-6, 1-1) finally played some resemblance of defense, holding the visitors to under 40 percent from the field. Jim Boeheim used yet another starting lineup, benching Frank Howard in favor of John Gillon — and it worked.

Here are three quick observations from Syracuse’s first conference win.

What’s lost can be found

One game after surrendering 96 points to the team picked to finish last in the ACC, the Orange held a team with 11 wins to 55 points. Syracuse has allowed fewer points only three times this season.

Miami only made four of its 12 shots inside the arc in the first half, settling for 14 3s, the majority of which Syracuse defended well. The rotations in the zone were far better than most games this season, and it paid dividends in the opening 20 minutes.

While some cracks did allow Miami freshman Dejan Vasiljevic to hit six 3-pointers, Syracuse held the Hurricanes’ two leading scorers, Ja’Quan Newton and Davon Reed, to a combined 14 points on 5-of-23 shooting from the field despite the pair coming in averaging over 30 points per game.

Short and sweet

Syracuse used only five players for the majority of the first half. Frank Howard came in with a little more than a minute left and Coleman subbed in with just 36 seconds to go. Taurean Thompson, who started his second straight game at center, played almost four and a half minutes in the opening frame after picking up two quick fouls.

Just 32 seconds into the second half, after Thompson was called for offensive goaltending, Boeheim summoned Roberson from the bench to replace the freshman. The senior quickly added a bucket and an assist, continuing his string of promising play following a lengthy stint in the head coach’s doghouse.

For the remainder of the half, Boeheim kept in that same lineup of Gillon, Tyus Battle, Andrew White, Roberson and Tyler Lydon as SU built its lead to as many as 17 points in the win.

Cleaning the (defensive) glass

Despite losing the battle on the offensive boards by seven, the Orange dominated Miami on the defensive glass, winning that category by 11. White, whose previous rebounding high was seven, grabbed a team-high 10 boards.

Even without Coleman or Thompson playing the five, the position manned mainly by those two this season, Roberson and Lydon still chipped in admirable efforts on the glass. The two combined for 13 rebounds, 11 coming on the defensive end.

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