The Syracuse Orange were able to continue its reign over Montana teams as Mike Hopkins' club routed Montana State in tonight's matchup. Okay, Mike Hopkins' club reads a little strange, but the interim head coach/coach-in-waiting/any surrogate coaching moniker you can think of, has Syracuse playing very good basketball again in its last two games.
DaJuan Coleman got things started for Syracuse as the junior big man scored six points, grabbed four rebounds and had a block in the games first six minutes.
Syracuse fans got a preview of what the top of next season's zone will look like as Kaleb Joseph and Frank Howard played alongside each other for extended minutes in the first half. Chinonso Obokoh was able to score his first points on the year off an assist from Michael Gbinije in the first half and would go on to have his best game in a Syracuse uniform.
It's been a career night for @CObokoh! 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting & 6 rebounds! #CuseMode pic.twitter.com/IFYKYxeS3o— Syracuse Basketball (@Cuse_MBB) December 23, 2015
The Orange carried a 31-17 lead into halftime, never trailing in the contest.
The second half story was much of the same as Syracuse extended its lead over the clearly inferior Bobcats. The Orange dominated the game in every category; Syracuse out-rebounded, out-shot, out-passed and out-defended Montana State.
The Syracuse bench contributed more in this game than any other contest this season. The non-walk-on portion of the Syracuse bench combined for 24 points, 18 rebounds, nine assists, three steals and five blocks.
Gbinije finished as the high point man with 17 points which included a windmill dunk in garbage time, something Syracuse fans haven't seen since James Southerland threw one down against Providence. Coleman finished with 13 points and four rebounds while Trevor Cooney added 12 points on 3-6 shooting from downtown.
Syracuse returns home on Sunday to take on Texas Southern following the holiday. That game tips at 2:00 p.m. and will air on ESPNU.