SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WKTV) – Syracuse outscored Cornell 32-10 over the first 10 minutes of the second half and the No. 8/7 Orange opened the 2013-14 campaign with an 82-60 victory over Cornell in front of 24,788 fans in the Carrier Dome on Friday, Nov. 8.
Redshirt sophomore Trevor Cooney led all players with a career-high 27 points. He was a blistering 7-of-8 from behind the arc. He added a game-best four steals. The Big Red was led by Nolan Cressler, who had 20 of his squad-best 23 points in the first half.
In the season opener for both teams, SU ended the first half on a 10-2 run and used that momentum to come out firing in the second half. The Orange shot 63-percent (17-27) from the field and 71.4-percent (5-7) from long distance in the second half to up its total to 53.6-percent (30-56) overall and 50-percent (10-20) from three for the game.
Syracuse's defense limited Cornell to 36-percent (9-25) from the floor and just 18.8-percent (3-16) from deep in the closing half. The Orange out-rebounded Cornell 38-26 and also enjoyed a 21-4 advantage in fast break points.
Senior C.J. Fair and junior Rakeem Christmas joined Cooney in double-figures with 19 and 12 points, respectively. In his collegiate debut, freshman Tyler Ennis finished with game-highs of eight rebounds and seven assists.
Trailing 38-32 at the break, the Orange opened the second half on a 10-2 run, including a three from Cooney that put the Orange up at 42-40 with 16:53 to go. Syracuse and Cornell traded leads on the next three scores until another three pointer by Cooney – his sixth of the night – put SU back in front for good at 47-45 and sparked an 11-0 run to put the Orange in control at 55-45 with 13:03 remaining in the game.
Over the next seven minutes, Syracuse used a 16-2 run to construct a 71-50 advantage aided by five points from Christmas and four apiece from Fair and Cooney. With a 75-58 lead, freshman Tyler Roberson sandwiched a jumper between a two-pointer and bank-three by freshman B.J. Johnson to give SU its largest lead of the contest at 82-58 with 1:41 left.
After Fair began the game with a layup to open the scoring, Cornell responded with 10 of the next 12 points for a 10-4 advantage. Syracuse regained the lead at 16-15 following a three from Cooney and layup by Johnson midway through the first half. Dominick Scelfo answered back with a three to put Cornell back on top, 18-16. At that point, Nolan Cressler scored the next 13 points for the visitors as the Big Red extended its lead to 31-19 with 5:38 left in the half. A layup by Cressler just over a minute later gave Cornell its largest lead of the half at 36-22.
Behind back-to-back trifectas from Cooney, Syracuse ended the half on a 10-2 run, capped by a Fair slam, to pull within 38-32 at the intermission.
The Big Red was led by Cressler, who scored 20 of his career-high 23 points in the first half.
SU will host Fordham on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m.