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Syracuse men’s basketball: the Orange handle the Huskies 76-48

Jim Boeheim becomes the first coach to win his 1,000th game twice.

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

The Syracuse Orange got off to a strong start against the Northeastern Huskies, and their improvements on offense carried into the second half in a dominant 76-48 win.

Jim Boeheim picked up career win 1,101* in front of the Dome crowd, and the Orange get a nice reset ahead of this week’s Empire Classic in Brooklyn.

Joe Girard led the offensive explosion with 21 points, including a 5/9 clip from distance. Jesse Edwards also had a great scoring night, tallying 13 points in the first half and 19 overall while shooting a fantastic 80%. He also added seven rebounds. Judah Mintz wrapped up the scoring trifecta with 18 points, five rebounds, and five assists.

Mintz got the game’s first points with a behind-the-back layup. Chris Bell then collected a defensive rebound, something Coach Boeheim has been adamant about the past two weeks. Girard got on the board next with a jumper and followed it up with a three. Shortly afterwards, Judah tossed one up to Jesse for an alley-oop and a 9-0 start for the Orange.

Northeastern snapped out of their funk with three deep shots to cut the deficit to 12-9. Their main plan of attack in the first half was the 3-pointer, as the Huskies launched more balls from outside the arc (19) than inside it (13) during the first 20. Thankfully, they did not shoot close to 50% like Colgate did earlier this week, instead only making seven of those 19.

There was some back-and-forth for the next eight minutes, which did not feature a lead change but also never saw the Orange get above a six-point advantage. Mintz slammed down a one-handed dunk on a pass from Girard, and Quadir Copeland swished a nice spin-and-shoot.

With the score 26-23, SU went on another 9-0 run. Jesse threw down another dunk to get to the halftime score of 35-23 - and the team’s shooting percentage went all the way up to 55%.

The second half was more of the same for both sides. The Orange continued to attack the basket and had a healthy rotation of bench players also get involved. Every SU player who saw the floor except Peter Carey had double-digit minutes. Meanwhile, the Huskies could not find success on their threes, even missing a good chunk of their open looks on the night. The ‘Cuse defense wasn’t as bad tonight, but against a better shooting team, this wouldn’t have been a cakewalk.

Bell once again found himself out of the game early, but it wasn’t Justin Taylor or Symir Torrence who logged the majority of minutes in his place. Maliq Brown got a shot and while he didn’t contribute too much offensively (only 4 points), he played a solid two-way game.

Benny Williams also had a pretty quiet night in the points category with seven, but he did his job in the rebounding department and led the team with eight. Taylor knocked down the only non-JGIII 3 of the game for SU and slightly outpaced Bell in minutes and overall stats.

Next Up

The Orange head to Barclays Center to face off against Richmond in the first game of the Empire Classic Monday at 7. They’ll face either St. John’s or Temple on Tuesday, depending on their respective outcomes.