Syracuse tops Lehigh, 57-47, in season opener

first_img Related Stories Fast reaction: 3 takeaways from Syracuse’s season-opening win vs. LehighGrade the Orange’s performance against Lehigh Published on November 13, 2015 at 8:55 pm Contact Sam: sblum@syr.edu | @SamBlum3 Facebook Twitter Google+center_img The clock read 15:05 and Dajuan Coleman walked to his spot on the block on the free-throw line. His long-awaited comeback ended unceremoniously five minutes after it began. An illegal screen, a shooting foul and Tyler Lydon had come into the game.The freshman, though, provided early what Coleman did not. His first defensive possession was a blocked shot. Just more than a minute later he had recorded two straight steals. They both led to transition baskets, the first a lay-in by Trevor Cooney, the next a jumper by Malachi Richardson.Syracuse’s one-point deficit flipped to a three-point lead. Syracuse wouldn’t allow another field goal to go in for the final 13 minutes and 14 seconds of the first half.It was the Orange’s defense in the first half and timely scoring in the second that ultimately provided the boost for a 57-47 season-opening win over Lehigh on Friday night in the Carrier Dome. The freshmen Lydon and Richardson gave the spark when Coleman was in foul trouble and Cooney and Michael Gbinije were struggling. Syracuse withstood Lehigh’s best shot — an 18-4 run to start the second half — ending it with two long balls to pull away for the win.The Orange forced 12 turnovers in the first half. A wide-open 3-pointer from Austin Price from the left wing gave Lehigh a 9-8 lead. It forced SU head coach Jim Boeheim to call a timeout to quell a 7-0 Lehigh run. Price would hit the next Lehigh shot but it was with 16:57 left in the game. A stretch of more than 16 minutes without a bucket.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut then six more went down for the Mountain Hawks. A 20-point lead was cut to six. A crowd of 21, 286 screaming for Syracuse hushed to a small group chanting, “Let’s go Lehigh.”Lehigh picked apart the zone in the second half, especially with Coleman having reentered. But each big Lehigh run was met with a Syracuse 3. First it was Kaleb Joseph that brought the lead back up to nine with a bucket from the top of the arc. Then it was Richardson who connected to end an SU scoring drought of more than three minutes.Lehigh played catch-up the whole second half, but Syracuse never let it get too close. A runner by Gbinije in the lane as the shot clock expired with 2:20 to play served as the dagger.Syracuse’s defense made up for its weaknesses in the first half. When the zone failed in the latter 20 minutes, some clutch shooting made sure it didn’t matter as the Orange won its 12th straight season-opening game. Commentslast_img