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Three takeaways from Syracuse’s win over Colgate

Syracuse was able to get the offense going in the second half.

NCAA Basketball: Colgate at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

It was a slow start for the Syracuse Orange from the Carrier Dome tonight, but they came away with the 77-56 win over the Colgate Raiders. Colgate was hot from deep to start the game, and the Orange failed to remove the lid from the rim in the first half. However, a strong second half from Tyus Battle helped Syracuse lift that lid and lead them to a bounce back win in the Carrier Dome.

Marek Dolezaj and Bourama Sidibe hold down the center spot

With Paschal Chukwu heading to the locker-room with a first half injury, Marek Dolezaj and Bourama Sidibe stepped up. Dolezaj was up to his crafty ways as he hustled and creates extra possessions for Syracuse. The Slovakian forward is good at finding the open spots on the floor and displays a solid understanding of the game. While the Colgate front court isn’t as imposing as an ACC backline, Dolezaj held his own in the middle of the zone.

Sidibe was able to finish plays inside for the Orange on the offensive end, something they were struggling to do in the first half. Sidibe’s soft touch around the rim helped him find a rhythm against the smaller Colgate defenders. Sidibe gives Syracuse more size down low than Dolezaj, but both players proved tonight that they have what it takes to provide quality minutes for the Orange.

NCAA Basketball: Colgate at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The defense still isn’t close to where it needs to be

The Raiders had success getting open shots from deep, as they were able to dissect the Syracuse zone with quick passes around the perimeter. Colgate shot 8-23 from deep in the first half (but just 12-40 for the game), but a lot of its misses were open looks which quality ACC teams would take advantage of against the Orange.

Syracuse has yet to play to its potential for a full game on the offensive end, so the defense becomes imperative if shots aren’t falling.

Good things happen when Tyus Battle and Oshae Brissett attack the rim

Tyus Battle and Oshae Brissett struggled to score the ball to start the game, but the two dynamic wings were able to find their rhythm in the second half by attacking the paint. Battle and Brissett have been settling for jumpers early in this season, but they are much harder to stop when they are penetrating the lane. The two of them were able to get free throw line by taking it off the bounce as Battle and Brissett combined to shoot 19 free throws.

Syracuse needs its two leading scorers to drive before they settle for jumpers — the second half versions of both players is exactly how they need to play.