SU men’s basketball impresses vs. Le Moyne in final warmup

SU men's basketball impresses vs. Le Moyne

The Orange defeated the Dolphins by 40 in their final exhibition prior to the regular season.
Published: November 2, 2021
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Joseph Girard III (11) sets the play during Monday's exhibition against Le Moyne in the Dome.

The Syracuse men’s basketball team dominated Le Moyne, 90-50, in its final exhibition contest Monday night.

Junior guard Joe Girard III led the Orange with 20 points and nine assists in the victory. Senior forward Cole Swider pitched in 18 points and five assists of his own.

“I thought Joe was really confident tonight,” coach Jim Boeheim said.

Syracuse blitzed Le Moyne with a 19-4 start, playing lockdown defense by drawing charges and forcing Le Moyne into shot clock violations. On the offensive end, the Orange started off hot by hitting six of their first eight attempts from beyond the arc.

The Orange got into the bonus at the 9:49 mark of the first half, making it difficult for the Dolphins to get back into the game. Syracuse’s lead grew as high as 19 before settling into a 41-25 score at halftime.

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Cole Swider (21) attempts to block an inbound pass during Monday's exhibition game against Le Moyne.

After Le Moyne hit a three to begin the second half, Syracuse promptly went on a 17-0 run. The Dolphins did not get back on the scoreboard until there was 13:39 left.

“Start of the second half, our ball movement was better; we got better looks,” Boeheim said. “I think overall, our defensive movement was better.”

The gap continued to grow as the second half progressed, with the Orange doubling Le Moyne’s point total at times. Syracuse’s biggest lead was 42 points, ultimately finishing with a 40-point margin of victory.

With the blowout win, Boeheim was able to get most of his reserves in the game. Starting center Jesse Edwards remained on the floor until near the end to get extra work in. He paced the Orange on the defensive end with six rebounds and three blocks.

“In the second half, Jesse got going,” Boeheim said. “When he makes an effort, that’s something we have to have every night from him.”

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Jimmy Boeheim (0) goes up for a slam dunk in the second half of Monday's exhibition game.

The Orange shot 54% on the night, including 42% from the three-point line. Their defense limited Le Moyne to 32% shooting overall.

This was Division II Le Moyne’s first game since the 2019-20 season. The Northeast-10 Conference, of which Le Moyne is a member, canceled winter sports last year.

Nino Hernandez, Le Moyne’s leading scorer in 2019-20, led the team with 13 points. Dolphins forward Luke Sutherland left the game in the first half due to injury after landing awkwardly on a rebound attempt.

The Orange have a week to gear up for the regular-season opener, when they host Lafayette on Nov. 9.

“These guys are doing everything we’ve asked them to do,” Boeheim said. “They’re in a good position right now.”