Orange put perfect mark on line versus visiting Vikings
Syracuse, NY (Sports Network) - The Carrier Dome is the site of tonight's non- conference clash between the 13th-ranked and undefeated Syracuse Orange and the Cleveland State Vikings.
Cleveland State was dominant on Saturday in a 66-47 victory over Marist. That win halted a two-game slide for the Vikings, who are now 6-4 overall and 1-1 against teams from their Horizon League. They did face an opponent from Syracuse's Big East Conference last week, as they fell to West Virginia by 10 points.
Speaking of the Orange, they crushed Long Beach State by a 79-55 final on Saturday to give coach Jim Boeheim his 780th collegiate victory, tying him with Lute Olson for ninth place among Division I coaches. Boeheim's squad is now 9-0, and seven of the victories have come at home. They have already beaten the likes of Florida and Kansas, proof that this team is legitimate.
Tonight's game marks the first-ever meeting between Syracuse and Cleveland State on the hardwood.
J'Nathan Bullock continues to lead Cleveland State in scoring (13.5 ppg) and rebounding (6.9 rpg), and he will undoubtedly draw plenty of attention from Syracuse defenders this evening. Norris Cole checks in with 11.4 ppg, as he is the only other Viking scoring in double figures. As a team, CSU is generating 61.8 ppg on 41.1 percent overall shooting, numbers that are far from impressive. Fortunately, the squad has been able to limit its foes to 57.0 ppg on 37.5 percent field goal efficiency. Against Marist on Saturday, Bullock tallied 11 points, eight assists and three steals while also blocking two shots, proof of his all-around ability. Chris Moore and D'Aundray Brown both added 10 points for the Vikings, who shot 56 percent from the floor. Defensively, they forced 18 turnovers and limited the Red Foxes to 34.7 percent field goal efficiency.
Syracuse was in the headlines recently for a negative reason, as standout guard Eric Devendorf was at risk of being thrown off the team and out of school for an altercation with a female student. Devendorf decided to appeal the decision, and he is allowed to continue playing until the appeal process is finished. He is second on the team with 14.0 ppg and will be sorely missed if the sanctions are carried out. The top scorer for the Orange is Jonny Flynn, a dynamic point guard who is netting 18.3 ppg to go with 45 assists. Paul Harris provides 13.7 ppg and 8.6 rpg, while Arinze Onuaku provides 13.3 ppg. Syracuse is generating 83.4 ppg while limiting foes to 67.3 ppg. In the recent romp over Long Beach State, Onuaku hit all seven of his field goal attempts and finished with 19 points in only 16 minutes of action. Devendorf tallied 13 points and five assists, while both Rick Jackson and Andy Rautins added 11 points. The Orange limited the 49ers to 31.5 percent from the field.
12/15 10:34:02 ET