26-2 First Half Run Powers SU Ramble Past Niagara
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – A second-straight double-double by sophomore Quincy Guerrier and a strong showing from freshman Kadary Richmond propelled Syracuse (2-0) to a 75-45 victory against Niagara (0-1) in the Carrier Dome on Thursday night.
A stellar first half for the Orange that included a 26-2 scoring stretch quickly put the game out of reach for the Purple Eagles. Syracuse knocked down 53.8 percent of its shots in the opening period and outrebounded Niagara, 24-14. The 2-3 zone defense limited the visitors to 17 points in the second stanza, securing the Syracuse victory.
Guerrier a career high with 23 points and tied his career high with 13 rebounds. He converted nine-of-10 shots from the field, including his only 3-pointer, and was 4-of-5 from the line.
In his first collegiate start, Richmond produced 16 points, seven rebounds, six assists, four steals and three blocks. His points were the most in a Syracuse freshman's debut start since Joseph Girard III scored 24 against Seattle last season.
FROM COACH BOEHEIM
"I thought we played a stretch in the first half where we did some really good things," said Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim. "I thought Kadary (Richmond) was the difference in the game. He used this game to really help himself and I thought it was a really good experience and a great opportunity for him."
ONLY GETTING STARTED
A back-and-forth first seven minutes was highlighted by Guerrier, who knocked down his first three shots and tallied eight points with three boards. A two-handed slam from Alan Griffin with 13 to play gave Syracuse a 15-14 advantage. From there, the Orange embarked on 5-0 run that included a pair of free throws from Griffin and a Richmond layup in transition off of a long pass from Girard III to stretch the lead to 19-14 with under 12 to play in the half.
'CUSE CATCHES FIRE
After a Nicholas Kratholm layup shrank the Syracuse lead to four, the Orange offense exploded for a 26-2 stretch that featured four-or-more points from five different players and 9-of-12 shooting from the field. In his Orange debut, Woody Newton scored his first collegiate basket when he knocked down a three-ball with 5:53 to play in the opening half. The triple pushed the SU advantage over 20 to 38-16. The Purple Eagles' scoring drought ended when Touba Traore knocked down a free throw with 4:58 to play, making the Orange advantage 39-17.
Syracuse maintained a double-digit edge at the break, taking a 42-28 lead to the locker room at halftime. Guerrier led all players with 12 points and seven boards while Griffin followed closely behind with 10 points of his own.
SAME STORY, DIFFERENT HALF
After a Kratholm layup gave the Purple Eagles the first points of the second stanza, the Orange offense picked up where they left off, tallying 12 unanswered points over the course of four minutes. The stretch started with a midrange jumper from Girard III and a strong rebounding display from Guerrier that led to a put back layup. Another basket from Guerrier pushed his point total to 16 on the night, tying his career high and extending the Syracuse lead to 54-30 with 14:37 to play.
Coming out of a Niagara timeout, Guerrier continued his offensive dominance, notching seven points in four minutes to surpass his career high in points. The Orange's 2-3 zone defense was also on display, with Syracuse holding the Purple Eagles to 4-of-20 shooting and snatching five steals through the first 12 minutes of the half. The strong play on both ends of the court gave the Orange a 65-36 advantage with seven minutes to play.
The final minutes of the game featured highlights from Newton and Richmond, who accounted for eight of the last 10 Orange points. Syracuse outscored the Purple Eagles 10-6 over the last five minutes to seal the victory, 75-45.
Quincy Guerrier set a new career high with 23 points. He also grabbed 13 rebounds to notch his fifth career double-double. It is the first time in his career that he has recorded a double-double in two straight games. The last Orange player to have a double-double in consecutive games was Bourama Sidibe, who reached double-digits in points and rebounds at Pittsburgh (13 points, 10 rebounds) and against North Carolina (17 points, 15 rebounds), last season.
Guerrier also set a career high with nine field goals and tied his career high with 13 rebounds.
The 30-point margin of victory for the Orange was the largest since defeating Bucknell by 51, 97-46, last season.
Freshman forward Woody Newton made his Orange debut and recorded his first collegiate point with a free throw in the first half. He finished the night with nine points, four rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
After redshirting for the 2019-20 season, John Bol Ajak made his Syracuse debut, grabbing a rebound in nine minutes of action.
Syracuse will play the final of its three consecutive home games to start the year on Saturday, December 5 when it hosts Rider at 7 p.m. The game will be available on area ACC Regional Sports Networks.