SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The #9/7 Orange (11-1) beat Alcorn State (2-13), 57-36 in the Carrier Dome on Saturday evening in the final matchup of the Chevrolet Gotham Classic.
The victory extends the Orange home court winning streak to 31 straight games, the longest in Division I. It marks the first time that SU has held an opponent to less than 40 points since 2005, when Syracuse gave up just 35 points to Colgate on December 10th.
Junior C.J. Fair led the offense with 13 points, while freshman Trevor Cooney also hit double-digits in scoring with 12 points. Sophomore Rakeem Christmas tallied a team-high seven rebounds.
The triumph was Coach Jim Boeheim's 901st career win, moving him within one victory of Bob Knight (902) in second on the all-time Division I list.
The Syracuse defense forced 28 turnovers, which led to a 26-9 advantage in points off miscues. SU limited the Braves to .438 from the field (14-of-36) and .176 from the three point line (3-of-17).
The Orange used a 12-0 run to move ahead early at 16-6, after allowing Alcorn State the lead once at 6-4 with 17:36 remaining in the opening frame. Five different SU players found the net during the scoring streak, including senior James Southerland, who hit a three-pointer, and sophomore Michael Carter-Williams, who had a conventional three-point-play.
Syracuse built an advantage of 16 points before entering the intermission with a 32-16 lead. ended the first half ahead of Alcorn State 32-16.
The Braves used an 11-0 run in the second half to climb within seven points at 36-29 with 13:03 remaining. SU struggled offensively and went without a second-half basket until 11:26 when Cooney converted a three-pointer.
From there, SU followed with eight more points, interrupted with just one free throw from the Braves, to set the score at 51-32 with 4:48 remaining in the second period. Cooney led the Orange with five points during the span.
Syracuse took its largest lead of the game with 1:43 to go, after Fair hit a pair of back-to-back buckets, including a dunk, to give SU a 22-point edge at 55-34. The Orange rounded out the game with a layup from Cooney to beat the Braves in a 57-36 final decision.
SU is back in action on Monday evening against Central Connecticut State with tipoff set for 3:30 p.m. in the Carrier Dome.