Princeton (1-2) at (6) Syracuse (2-0)
Wednesday, November 21, 7 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Scott Haynes, Senior College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Carrier Dome (33,000) -- Syracuse, New York. Television: Time Warner. Home Record: Princeton 0-2, Syracuse 1-0. Away Record: Princeton 1-0, Syracuse 0-0. Neutral Record: Princeton 0-0, Syracuse 1-0. Conference Record: Princeton 0-0, Syracuse 0-0. Series Record: Syracuse leads, 24-9.
GAME NOTES: The sixth-ranked Syracuse Orange continue a three-game homestand on Wednesday, when they welcome the Princeton Tigers to the Carrier Dome.
Jim Boeheim's Orange have opened the season with a pair of victories, first topping a very good San Diego State team in the Battle on the Midway to open the 2012-13 season, followed by last weekend's home rout of Wagner (88-57).
The Tigers have struggled out of the gate, losing a pair of close games at home to Northeastern (67-66) and Rutgers (58-52), after opening the season with a tough road win at Buffalo (57-53).
Syracuse has dominated this series, boasting of a 24-9 series advantage. These two teams haven't met since the 2004 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic at the Carrier Dome, a 56-45 win for the Orange. In all, Syracuse has won the last five meetings.
Princeton once again played well enough defensively to win a game, holding the Scarlet Knights to a mere .395 shooting from the floor, while forcing 16 turnovers that were converted into 23 points. However, the Tigers once again struggled with their own scoring, converting a meager 31.9 percent from the floor in the loss. Will Barrett and Ian Hummer provided a good portion of the scoring, finishing with 13 and 10 points, respectively.
Strong defense and suspect offense has been the running theme for Princeton in the early stages of the season, as the Tigers are averaging just 58.3 ppg, on .382 shooting, while limiting foes to just 59.3 ppg. Still, if there is a weakness on defense, it is Princeton's lack of grit in defending the perimeter, with opponents converting 57.1 percent of the time beyond the arc. Hummer and Barrett have been a potent one-two punch in the frontcourt. Hummer has shot the ball well at 51.4 percent and leads the team with 15.7 ppg. Barrett is a close second at 14.7 ppg and paces the team in rebounding (5.7 rpg).
Syracuse gave the hometown fans something to cheer about in their home opener against Wagner, as the Orange got up early and never took the foot off the gas pedal. The team shot a scorching 67.9 percent from the field in the second half to cruise to the 31-point victory. Brandon Triche had a strong performance, netting a game-high 21 points. Both Baye Moussa Keita and James Southerland were strong off the bench, adding 15 points apiece. Point guard Michael Carter-Williams only chipped in with six points, but he did dole out a career-high 11 assists.
Syracuse has shown itself to be a deep team at the offensive end through two games, as four players are currently averaging double figures, led by Triche's 18.0 ppg. C.J. Fair is next in line at 12.0 ppg, followed by Carter-Williams and Southerland with 11.5 and 10.5 ppg, respectively.
The Tigers are one of the favorites in the Ivy League this season, but even with Hummer and Barrett leading the way, they still lack the overall depth to knock off the Orange.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Syracuse 74, Princeton 53
11/21 10:37:54 ET