Syracuse, N.Y. — Jim Boeheim watched Seattle draw close in the second half over the weekend and deemed non-conference unsuitable for experimentation. With Robert Braswell laboring from a leg injury, Jalen Carey going down with a thumb injury and Elijah Hughes suffering pain on Wednesday, depth contribution became necessary — with someone named Jimmy on the other side scoring every possession.
Cornell, entering 1-3, trailed by only three midway through the second half as Jimmy poured 25 on his father’s team, then Jim turned to Quincy Guerrier for a burst. He scored eight straight points, above his 6.3 points per game, with his first three of the season capping the run. Elijah Hughes and Joe Girard bolstered the Orange to a double-digit lead after, finishing a 72-53 win.
As siblings converged on the Carrier Dome, Buddy Boeheim received an early wedgie, though not from Jimmy. Boeheim unloaded four threes in the opening minutes, hitting two and landing another between the backboard and rim.
Joe Girard III began the game driving into the high post and hitting Boeheim behind him for two. The ball fluttered across the fast-moving offense, Marek Dolezaj posting up early and swinging to Elijah Hughes who tapped the ball to Boeheim. Buddy found Girard to his right for three, as the Orange collectively hit four threes before the first timeout for a 16-9 lead.
Jordan Jones entered the game for Cornell and dropped eight points over the next six minutes. Brycen Goodine and Guerrier committed turnovers moments after entering the game. Jimmy Boeheim used his body to lean into Guerrier and score in transition, two other turnovers that followed turned into a turnover and miss by Cornell.
Hughes did not escape early struggles either. He mistimed a block attempt on Bryan Knapp’s transition layup. Then he shot over Riley Voss in transition after Girard flung him a pass, then back peddled to defense as the ball bounced to Voss. Jim screamed “follow your shot” from the sideline.
He exited the game shortly after, grabbing at his back the previous defensive possession then getting rolled out behind the bench. Jimmy Boeheim kept rolling, even as Hughes returned a timeout and possession later, hitting two free throws then stripping a defensive rebound from Jesse Edwards for a layup. Cornell led 24-23, with the Orange only scoring two points from a Buddy jumper over the final 6:52 of the first half.
Jimmy’s onslaught persisted into the second half. Syracuse hit Cornell with a Dolezaj transition layup, a three from Buddy and inside makes by Hughes and Bourama Sidibe to extend its lead to 35-28. Jimmy responded with a smooth hesitation step inside to beat Sidibe in the post, then hit a three from Terrance McBride to pull within two.
Dolezaj responded, getting on the board again after a scoreless first half with a fadeaway jumper. Josh Warren hoped he stripped him from behind after Dolezaj grabbed a rebound on defense and ran past half court. The refs tagged Warren with a foul, to Cornell’s frustration, and Girard lobbed Dolezaj a pass behind the defense for a floating layup.
Hughes hit a pair of free throws, fed on an in-bounds from Sidibe, who hit Hughes in the low post into the foul. Then he ran a stop back and found Girard for three, pushing Syracuse ahead by nine.
Offense largely died in the second half. Cornell managed a 4-0 run on free throws from Jordan Jones and Boeheim. Syracuse responded with a burst from Guerrier, who fed Dolezaj inside, scooped his miss and got himself to the line. Guerrier hit 3-of-4 at the line between two trips, before Dolezaj got tagged with consecutive fouls, halting the momentum.
Guerrier claimed it back. He stretched his run to eight straight points, catching a Hughes pass in the corner and drilling a three. Girard pulled-up above the arc to draw three free throws, hitting them all. Hughes slammed a dunk in transition, hitting back-to-back threes with Buddy moments later to take a 14-point lead.
Hughes’ three-point play inside secured victory and the Orange advanced to 3-1 ahead of a 12 p.m. tip against Bucknell on Saturday.