The Syracuse Orange men's basketball team will be looking for a rebound victory Monday night as the Colgate Raiders visit the Carrier Dome for a non-conference showdown between two long-time Central New York foes.
The Orange (6-4) are coming off a heartbreaking overtime loss, 82-77, to the No. 7-ranked Villanova Wildcats, who forced overtime after trailing by five points with 17 seconds remaining in regulation. Syracuse was unable to bounce back in the extra session and dropped its third game of its last four.
Meanwhile, the Raiders (3-8) lost at New Hampshire, 63-57, eight days ago. Colgate held a two-possession lead with three minutes and 20 seconds to play, but New Hampshire scored 10 straight points on its way to the win. Before that, the Raiders had won two straight games against Binghamton (65-44) and Morrisville State (88-52), respectively.
|Syracuse (projected starting lineup)||Class||Ht.||Wt.||PPG||RPG|
Senior center Rakeem Christmas continues to be Syracuse's most consistent player on offense and defense, as he has been held under 10 points only once this season. On Saturday, Christmas netted 18 points and collected five rebounds in Philadelphia.
Coming into his own has been junior guard Trevor Cooney, who has churned out 25- and 17-point performances in back-to-back games. After struggling in the Orange's first six games, Cooney has made 11 of his last 26 three-point attempts (42.3%) in the last four contests. He has averaged 15 points per game in that span.
Another player performing well lately has been junior forward Michael Gbinije, who is coming off an 18-point showing versus Villanova. Gbinije has scored in double figures in three of the Orange's last four games.
|Colgate (projected starting lineup)||Class||Ht.||Wt.||PPG||RPG|
The Raiders are paced by senior guard Damon Sherman-Newsome, who has recorded a double-double in 10 of his team's 11 games so far this year. Backcourt-mate Auston Tillotson is the other weapon in the Colgate arsenal. Tillotson has scored in double figures in 10 of Colgate's 11 games.
Colgate is led by head coach Matt Langel, who has done slightly better each season he's been there. In the preseason, the Raiders were picked to finish eighth in the 10-team Patriot League.
|Points Per Game||69.1||63.7|
|Opponents Points Per Game||59.8||63|
|Turnovers Per Game||14.2||12.1|
This will be the 167th meeting between the two programs. Syracuse owns a 48-game winning streak over Colgate, which last defeated the Orange during the 1961-62 season. Prior to the losing streak, the Raiders had won four-straight games against SU.
Game Time: 7 p.m.
TV: ESPNU–Jason Benetti (play-by-play) and Len Elmore (analyst)
Radio: Syracuse IMG Radio Network
Meaningless Prediction: Syracuse 80, Colgate 61
Despite losing three of their last four, the Orange have been playing a bit better than before. SU was able to complete with a Top-10 team on the road. The difference for this team taking a step forward or not is continuing to improve on offense and limiting turnovers, which has killed them in critical situations.
This should be a nice bounce-back victory for the Orange headed into the Christmas break. After that, the Orange finish out their non-conference slate with Long Beach State (Sun., Dec 28) and Cornell (Wed., Dec. 31).
|Syracuse Orange (next 5 games)||Date||Time||TV|
|Long Beach State||12/28/2014||2:00 PM||ESPNU|
|At Virginia Tech||1/3/2015||12:00 PM||RSN|
|At Georgia Tech||1/7/2015||7:00 PM||ESPNU|
|Florida State||1/11/2015||8:00 PM||ESPNU|