Orange, Fair hold off Colgate
Orange forward C.J. Fair put up 20 points against Colgate, knocking down 9-of-17 field buckets. Syracuse’s Rakeem Christmas and DaJuan Coleman logged seven boards each, leading their squad in outrebounding the Raiders, 48-27.
The Syracuse Orange jumped out to a 36-26 halftime lead, while freshman Tyler Ennis drilled 4-of-6 shots beyond the arc for 12 points. Fair and Co. sparsely sank 12-of-28 free throws, with both squads shooting below 37 percent from the floor.
Orange sophomore Trevor Cooney came away with three steals, while held to 10 points in 31 minutes of action. Cooney’s mates Michael Gbinije and Jerami Grant combined for five assists, with Grant adding one of his side’s four blocks.
Terriers, Cannon fall in Dayton
St. Francis picked up its season’s first defeat on the same afternoon, falling in a 78-58 loss to the Dayton Flyers. The Terriers allowed Dayton to connect at 51 percent from the field, while edging the Flyers in boards, 28-27.
Terriers forward Jalen Cannon notched team-highs of 14 points and eight rebounds, while taking on two blocks. The junior logged a 7-for-13 day from the floor, reaching double figures for a third straight game.
St. Francis’ Wayne Martin and Amdy Fall notched one steal each, with Martin recording nine points off the bench. The Terriers went 16-for-26 at the foul line, while guard Anthony White drained 2-of-2 buckets from three-point land.
Back Syracuse as home ‘chalk’
NCAA Basketball odds have not been released at this time, but given the one-sidedness of this matchup, sportsbooks might not release lines at all. The Orange will have one week off following this duel, resuming action in Maui against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. St. Francis is idle until Saturday’s matchup against Coastal Carolina, continuing on the road.
I am adding Syracuse to Monday’s card of NCAA Basketball picks, laying the big number at home.
Syracuse fell short of covering ATS in its first two ‘board’ battles, but should look to run it up more here before heading west. The Orange ended last November’s first stretch of home dates with an 87-51 thrashing of Colgate, pulling away from the Raiders in the second half, 49-27.
C.J. Fair has piled in 21.7 PPG, ranking second in the Atlantic Coast Conference just behind Blue Devils' freshman Jabari Parker (23.3 PPG). Syracuse leads their rivals in steals (13 SPG), while logging a sizable 46 RPG on the boards.
St. Francis collapsed in Dayton after pulling out a pair of close victories to start the year, leaving the team’s best moments behind. The Terriers have played few ‘board’ battles in recent memory, failing to cash as 10-point underdogs in last March’s 75-57 defeat to the Robert Morris Colonials.
Look for the Terriers to fall short again here, while Syracuse smothers Cannon and Co. to put the matchup out of reach early.
NCAA Basketball Pick: Syracuse Orange minus the point
Be sure to check out my free picks for tonight's between UNC Ashville vs. Duke.