Alcorn State (2-12) at (9) Syracuse (10-1)
Saturday December 29, 7 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Lucas Gulotta, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Carrier Dome (33,000) -- Syracuse, New York. Television:
Time Warner. Home Record: Alcorn State 1-3, Syracuse 8-0. Away Record: Alcorn
State 0-8, Syracuse 2-0. Neutral Record: Alcorn State 1-1, Syracuse 0-1.
Conference Record: Alcorn State 0-0, Syracuse 0-0. Series Record: Syracuse
leads, 1-0. .
GAME NOTES: The No. 9 Syracuse Orange look to recover from their first loss of
the season on Saturday as they welcome the Alcorn State Braves to the Carrier
Dome for a non-conference tilt as part of the Gotham Classic.
The Braves' terrible slump continued on Thursday as they were defeated, 87-74,
at Canisius which extended their current losing streak to eight games in a
row. Alcorn State owns a dismal 2-12 record with an overtime victory over
Samford (69-65) serving as the only triumph over a Division I foe. Coach
Luther Riley's team is winless in eight road games this season and suffered a
lopsided, 91-54, loss to Missouri in its only competition against a ranked
opponent. Alcorn State's troubles begin on the offensive end where it is
producing just 59 points per game on 38.7 percent shooting from the floor. Its
opponents are netting 69.7 ppg with a .407 field goal percentage.
Jim Boeheim's Orange dropped to 10-1 on Dec. 22 when they suffered an 83-79
setback to Temple at Madison Square Garden. The defeat came after Syracuse's
10-0 start that consisted of eight double-digit margin victories and a perfect
8-0 record at the Carrier Dome. The Orange showed they were susceptible to an
upset prior to the Owls as they barely held off Detroit (72-68) in their last
home game. Despite the lack of dominance in its last two appearances, Syracuse
is a proven force that carries impressive averages of 83 points, 44.2
rebounds, and 17.8 assists per contest. Its opponents are not coming close
with 60.1 points, 35.7 boards, and 13 helpers per outing.
This marks the second meeting between these two schools. Syracuse defeated
Alcorn State, 110-77, on Dec. 3, 1982 in the only other matchup between the
Alcorn State received a boost recently as senior guard Marquiz Baker scored 23
points in his long awaited season debut on Dec. 21 versus Santa Clara. Baker
then netted 24 points versus SMU before tallying 30 points against the Golden
Griffins on Thursday. The other two components of the Braves' backcourt are
also capable of filling it up. Anthony Nieves (11.8 ppg) added 20 points on 7-
of-15 shooting from the floor in Thursday's loss to Canisius, and although
LeAntwan Luckett (11.4 ppg, 2.4 apg) was held in single digits for the second
consecutive outing, he made his mark by dishing out seven assists. The Braves,
who are hitting only 27.9 percent from beyond the arc, need to find their
outside shooting touch in this one to make up for their lack of low post
The Orange have an array of weapons which makes them nearly impossible to
defend. The team is being guided by the top-notch play of sophomore Michael
Carter-Williams, who is averaging a double-double with 12.4 points and a
Division I leading 10.3 assists per game. However, the 6-6 floor general had
his streak of five consecutive double-doubles snapped versus Temple and he is
just 4-of-23 from the field, including a 1-of-9 mark from 3-point range, in
his last two games. Senior forward James Southerland is netting a team-best 15
ppg thanks to his 26 makes from beyond the arc while Brandon Triche (14.7 ppg)
and C.J. Fair (12.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg) are doing their part from the forward slots.
Syracuse's loss to the Owls is bad news for Alcorn State. The Orange are going
to begin on their mission of climbing back near the top of the national
rankings against a team that will be overmatched across the board.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Syracuse 81, Alcorn State 53
12/29 10:31:40 ET
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