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Syracuse men’s basketball: three takeaways from Monmouth

The Orange get a win even if it wasn’t pretty

NCAA Basketball: Monmouth-NJ at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange returned to action tonight and with the crowd (and maybe the team) distracted by the men’s soccer National Championship game, they pulled tightened up in the second half for a win over the Monmouth Hawks.

Here are three takeaways from the win:

Slow start again

Maybe the Orange were preoccupied with the College Cup Final but once again Syracuse was slow out of the gate. Four early turnovers allowed Monmouth to get some early success. The Hawks entered the game averaging only 61 points a game but they put up in 40 in the first half of the game hitting on 6 of their first 9 three-point attempts.

As the schedule gets tougher the Orange can’t keep falling behind early in games. The team needs to figure out a way to get going early on.

Judah Mintz taking over

The freshmen point guard followed up his strong game against Georgetown with a career-high of 24 points to go along with 5 assists, 4 steals and only one turnover. He was 11-12 from the line, which means he’s made 21 of 23 free throw attempts over the last two games. If he’s able to convert those shots, he’s going to be the type of scorer the Orange need in ACC play.

There’s the three-ball

Syracuse hadn’t been hitting their long shots lately but against Monmouth’s porous defense, the Orange ended up 8-15 from deep. Joe Girard was 4-10 but with Mintz, Benny Williams and Chris Bell going 4-5 it allowed Syracuse to open up room inside the pant. Syracuse finished the game over 50% from the field overall and if they can be efficient on open 3’s they can force the opposing defense to come out of the lane, leaving more room for Jesse and Judah.

What did you take away from last night’s game?