MARK FRANK, Associated Press
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — After 13 games and heading into its ACC season opener this Sunday, Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim still doesn’t know what to make of the 2016-2017 Orange, an 80-56 rout of Cornell on Tuesday night notwithstanding.
“I have no idea. No idea,” Boeheim said. “I don’t worry about it. We just get ready. We prepare the best we can and we go out there and play. You don’t need to speculate because you’ll have results. As far as what’s going to happen, nobody knows.”
Boeheim didn’t take much from the win.
“Tonight was a baby, baby step that doesn’t mean much.”
Syracuse has shown it can dominate lesser opponents but has struggled against teams from power conferences. That trend continued Tuesday.
Tyler Lydon had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Syracuse (8-5) overcame a sluggish start to overwhelm the Big Red (3-9).
Cornell hung tough for the first 10 minutes, forging a 16-14 lead, but then the roof caved in.
“I thought we were locked in at the start,” said Cornell coach Brian Earl. “Something just broke along the way and it got away from us quickly.”
Earl said he thinks the Orange will eventually find its way.
“They have a lot of talent. I think they’re figuring it out. They’re good enough to really lay one on us and I have a feeling they’re going to keep improving.”
“We obviously have a lot we need to work on and we’re not we want to be,” Lydon said. “We dug ourselves a pretty big hole but I think we can get out of it.”
Taurean Thompson had 18 points, Tyus Battle 16 and Andrew White III chipped in with 12. John Gillon had seven assists and zero turnovers off the bench.
The Orange proved too much inside for the undersized Big Red, outscoring Cornell 38-26 in the paint. Syracuse had 18 second-chance points, scored 19 points off 12 Cornell turnovers and outrebounded the Big Red 41-32.
The Orange hit nine 3-pointers, four apiece by Lydon and Battle. The rest of the Syracuse roster was one for 10 from behind the arc.
Troy Whiteside led Cornell with 13 points. Matt Morgan scored 10 and Stone Gettings pulled down nine rebounds.
Cornell hit six of its first 10 shots when Syracuse went on a 28-9 run to end the first 20 minutes with a 42-25 lead. Lydon keyed the outburst with two 3-pointers and layup. Tyler Roberson gave the offense a spark and electrified the crowd with a putback slam and an alley-oop jam from Gillon to end the half. The Orange was never headed after that, outscoring Cornell by seven after intermission.
Cornell held tough for nearly 10 minutes but Syracuse’s size and athleticism took over.
Syracuse has shown it can beat up on lesser teams but is winless (0-5) against teams from power conferences.
Cornell: Syracuse held Morgan to nine points below his season average.Gettings managed just two points, far below his average of 14.2.Robert Hatter had an off night as well, shooting 3-of-11.. Cornell was 42 percent from the field.
Syracuse: Lydon is taking charge. Tuesday’s effort marked his fifth-straight game in double figures.White tallied 12 points but was 0-of-5 from beyond the arc.In its seven wins entering the Cornell game, SU had held opponents to 32.5 percent shooting. In five losses, opponents had made 45.6 percent.
Roberson came out of nowhere for a putback slam that sparked Syracuse’s comeback and teamed with Gillon for a sizzling alley-oop as time expired in the first half.
Cornell hosts UMass-Lowell on Thursday.
Syracuse begins ACC play Sunday at Boston College
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