SU Sports Recap: Friday, December 4-Thursday, December 10

Rick Jackson scored a game-high 21 points and led #6 Syracuse past #11 Florida.

Men’s Basketball

Maine: 55       #7 Syracuse: 101

The #7 Syracuse Orange (8-0) cruised by the Maine Black Bears (3-4) easily this past Saturday night in the Carrier Dome. The offense exploded in this blowout win, as the Orange reached the century mark for the second time this season (first time was against Robert Morris in a 100-60 win). Senior center Arinze Onuaku scored 14 points and brought down 7 rebounds and freshman guard Brandon Triche added a team-high 16 points. The Syracuse bench scored 48 of the 101 points, led by sophomore guard Scoop Jardine and his 10 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds. Maine’s guard Gerald McLemore had a game-high 21 points in the loss.

#6 Syracuse: 85         #11 Florida: 73

The SEC/Big East Invitational provided another opportunity for the #6 Syracuse Orange (9-0) to prove its staying power to the rest of college basketball. For the third time this season, Syracuse defeated an opponent ranked #12 or higher (with the other two being #12 California and #4 North Carolina in the 2K Sports Coaches versus Cancer Classic), as Florida came into the game ranked 11th and with an identical 8-0 record.

One team had to lose, however, and on Thursday night, the Florida Gators (8-1) experienced an 85-73 defeat at the hands of 9-0 Syracuse. Throughout the game, the Gators relied heavily on the three-ball, as they attempted 30 in the game. Despite making 12 shots from deep (40%), they were easily out-rebounded. Syracuse had 39 rebounds, including 16 on the offensive glass, compared to just 28 rebounds (10 offensive) from Florida.

The rebounding disadvantage was made clear through the play of Wesley Johnson, Rick Jackson, and Kris Joseph, as they all recorded double-doubles. Junior forward Rick Jackson was a force early and often, collecting 21 points and 11 rebounds. Of his 11 boards, 7 of them were offensive rebounds that led to points. Junior forward Wesley Johnson scored his season average of 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. This superstar collected much more than points, however, as he continued to get praise from ESPN’s broadcasters, whom consistently stated that he was an NBA pro playing college basketball.  Sophomore forward Kris Joseph gave Syracuse a very good 31 minutes off the bench, scoring 12 points and collecting 10 rebounds.

Despite only shooting 23% from beyond-the-arc, the Orange shot 53% from the field, as a good portion of their shots came near the basket. The Gators also shot very well at 43.5%, but were saddled with the loss at the hands of the better opponent. Freshman guard Kenny Boynton scored a team-high 20 points, and kept Florida in the game all night with timely NBA-range three pointers. Florida junior forward Chandler Parsons also tried his best to keep the Gators in the game, scoring 19 points off the bench.

Following the impressive win versus #11 Florida (8-1), the #6 Syracuse Orange (9-0) play St. Francis (3-5) Sunday at 1 pm in the Carrier Dome. For their potential 11th win of the season, Syracuse takes on St. Bonaventure (5-3) next Saturday night (12/19) at 7 pm in the Carrier Dome.

Women’s Basketball

Syracuse: 70   Ohio: 54

Following the defeat of Ohio, the Syracuse women (#25 in USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll) increased their record to 8-0 on the season. Star senior forward Nicole Michael scored 10 points and grabbed 6 rebounds, while junior guard Erica Morrow scored a team-high 14 points. Also contributing was freshman center Kayla Alexander with 13 points and senior forward Juanita Ward with 11 points.

This Sunday, Syracuse (8-0) takes on Dartmouth (1-4) at 5 pm in the Carrier Dome.

Women’s Ice Hockey

The Syracuse Ice Hockey team (9-7-1, 4-2-0) split a pair of games with Wayne State last Friday and Saturday. The Friday matchup resulted in a 3-1 Wayne State win, while Saturday’s rematch went to Syracuse by a score of 3-2. Next up for the team is a battle with Princeton this Friday (7 pm) and Saturday (4 pm) in the Tennity Ice Pavilion.

Swimming and Diving

This past weekend, the swimming and diving team competed in the Bucknell Open in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. The Syracuse men accumulated 86 points in-route to a 7th place finish, while the women racked up 75 points, which was good for 6th place.

-Jon Harris

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