No. 7 Syracuse 57, Alcorn State 36: Freshman Trevor Cooney
scored all 12 of his points in the second half – including a 3-pointer
that ended a long dry spell – as the Orange defeated the visiting Braves
in the final game of the Gotham Classic.
C.J. Fair added 13 points and was the only other player to finish in
double figures for Syracuse (11-1), which was held 26 points below its
Big East-leading 83-point average in its worst offensive effort of the
Marquiz Baker scored a game-high 15 points for Alcorn State (2-13),
which committed a season-high 25 turnovers and has dropped nine
The Braves entered the game averaging 15.8 turnovers and hit that mark in the first half as the Orange turned to their full-court pressure defense early and often. However, Syracuse shot just 36.4 percent – including 1-of-9 from the 3-point line – en route to a 32-16 advantage at the break.
The struggles continued well after intermission for the Orange as they missed their first nine shots and committed eight turnovers in the opening 8:36 of the second half, allowing Alcorn State to crawl within 36-29 until Cooney nailed a 3-pointer. Fair followed with a dunk and Cooney added seven of the next 10 points to help Syracuse pull away late.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim recorded his 901st career victory, one behind second-place Bob Knight on the all-time list. … Alcorn State finished the first half with nearly as many turnovers (15) as it did points (16) and lost its 82nd consecutive non-conference road game. … The 36 points by the Braves marked the fewest allowed by the Orange since a 58-35 win over Colgate in 2005 and the fewest scored by Alcorn State since a 98-31 loss to Kansas in 2009.