Colgate leads early, loses 69-50 at No. 9 Syracuse

Created: 11/16/2013 7:05 PM

(AP) SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Colgate coach Matt Langel knew he had to risk something against No. 9 Syracuse, and his plan worked pretty well. The Raiders just couldn’t overcome the athletic disparity between the teams.

Playing its second straight game against an opponent from the Atlantic Coast Conference, Colgate held Syracuse’s long-range attack at bay and had a dose of good fortune when the Orange missed 16 of 28 free throws. It still wasn’t enough as Syracuse pulled away for a 69-50 victory on Saturday.

Syracuse shot just 7-for-24 (29.2 percent) from on 3-pointers.

Sharpshooting Trevor Cooney was 1 for 5 and C.J. Fair 2 of 6 from long range.

"When you’re playing a game like this, you’ve got to risk something at some point," Langel said. "A little bit of the philosophy was don’t let Trevor get going, try and make some other guys shoot the more difficult ones."

Fair scored a game-high 20 points and freshman guard Tyler Ennis hit four 3-pointers as the Orange (3-0) dominated the glass 52-34, 26-7 offensively, forced 21 turnovers that led to 18 points, and outscored the Raiders 30-10 inside.

"It was a learning experience. We were pretty solid defensively," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "Offensively, we got the ball inside. There were more positive things."

Syracuse has won 48 straight against Colgate for a 121-45 advantage in the longest-running series for both teams. Colgate was coming off an 89-78 road loss to Wake Forest last week in the Raiders’ season opener.

Colgate (0-2) was called for three shot-clock violations and an over-and-back violation in the first half as the Orange’s pressing defense forced pass after pass, the Raiders searching for an open man that often wasn’t there.

"Their defense had a lot to do with it. Sometimes, you’re working hard to try and get the best shot of the possession," Langel said. "You’ve got to not shoot early in the clock when you’re not going to make it. They’re really good at changing ends. I think sometimes you’re so stretched out, you’re so far away, guys that are open don’t think they’re open (and don’t take a shot).

"They’re more athletic, they’re longer, they’re bigger and they can force you into that," he said. "We practiced against seven guys in the press and it’s still not the same."

Ennis was 4 for 6 from behind the arc for his first 3s of the season, but the rest of his teammates shot a poor 3 for 18 from long range. Michael Gbinije had 11 points and Cooney 10 for the Orange.

"They were coming out on Trevor and C.J., so I was wide open," said Ennis, who failed to register an assist and committed two turnovers in 21 minutes. "I’m comfortable shooting the 3."

Colgate led for much of its first game and had six players score in double figures. It also led the Orange in the early going before Syracuse used its superior athleticism to take control.

Ethan Jacobs led Colgate with 13 points and Austin Tillotson, a transfer from Monmouth who had 14 points and nine assists against Wake Forest, finished with nine points and four assists.

Syracuse failed to put together two straight consistent halves in winning its first two games against Cornell and Fordham. The Orange dominated the second half against the Big Red after trailing by 14 in the first and pounced on the Rams in the first half Friday night to gain a 25-point halftime lead and won by 15.

They were a little more consistent this time but still shot just 36.8 percent _ a tick better than the Raiders.

Fair scored 11 of Syracuse’s first 13 points, but the Orange still trailed midway through the first half as the Raiders reeled off nine straight points.

"I thought offensively we moved it well," Jacobs said. "We needed to get it into the zone more. I think we got some good shots at times."

Pat Moore, who sank 5 of 6 from beyond the arc against Wake Forest, made his first two long-range attempts against Syracuse and the 6-foot-11 Jacobs hit another for a 15-11 lead.

A follow by Fair and a floater in the lane by Gbinije tied it at 15 and sent the Orange on a 15-0 spurt. A pair of 3s by Ennis in the final minutes of the first half, his first 3-pointers of the young season, gave Syracuse a 36-23 lead.

Fair scored twice inside and Ennis hit two more 3-pointers to start the second half, boosting the Orange lead to 46-31 with 16:19 left. Cooney then stole the ball and threw down a resounding two-hand slam dunk over Murphy Burnatowski after a court-long dash.

The Raiders rallied to 51-40 midway through the period behind a pair of 3-pointers by Tillotson and another from Damon Sherman-Newsome.

Syracuse responded with a 10-1 rush to seal the triumph.

"We just need more poise," Langel said. "It’s early in the season and we’ve got some new faces out there. Hopefully, we’ll take from this game that no matter who’s coming after us you’ve got to be poised with the ball, do the simple parts of the game."