Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Rick Jackson and Scoop Jardine Lead Cuse Past Michigan State

It was a great night inside Madison Square Garden last night. With college basketball's biggest stage and Jim Valvano's legacy providing the backdrop, #7/#8 Syracuse took down the #8/#7 Michigan State Spartans 72-58 in front of a sell out Garden crowd of 19,391, many of whom were draped in Orange.

Rick Jackson literally had his way with the Spartans all night. In 37 minutes of action on the floor Jackson had 17 points on 8 of 15 shooting and grabbed 16 rebounds for his seventh double double in nine games this season. Six of his rebounds were on the offensive glass, and almost all of them resulted in 2 points for the Orangemen. He showed poise, patience, and a high basketball IQ all night as he dominated the Spartans inside, who had no answer for his strong physical game.

Scoop Jardine had a terrific game as well for the Orangemen, shooting 7 of 9 from the floor and scoring a game high 19 points. Scoop was 1-3 from beyond the 3-point line, so the only shots he missed from the floor were from three. That's the kind of game Syracuse is going to need out of Scoop, who also had 3 assists and 2 steals, if the Orangemen want to be successful this season. He needs to get himself in the lane and take the high percentage shots.

Kris Joseph was an unimpressive 3 of 10 from the floor (0-2 from 3-point range), however he finished 8 of 9 from the charity stripe for 14 points on the night. KrisJo also played tremendous defense within Syracuse's 2-3 zone and lead the team with 4 steals.

As a team Syracuse shot only 11 three pointers, and no one player took more than 3 shots from beyond the arc. Good thing too, because the Orangemen only made 2 three pointers. Michigan State was 7-24 from long range on the night.

Syracuse got tremendous play out of their freshman as well. C.J. Fair had an exciting 9 minutes in the game shooting 3 of 5 from the floor with 6 points and 2 steals 2 rebounds and zero turnovers. Baye Moussa Keita played great defense off the bench for Jim Boeheim and logged 27 minutes. Keita finished with 2 points, 3 rebounds 1 assist and 3 blocks for the Cuse.

Fab Melo, who didn't score nor rebound a single loose ball, made two terrific passes for assits, however had 4 fouls in 13 minutes. At least he didn't turn the ball over. Earlier this week Jim Boeheim said that Fab Melo has been battling a sore Achilles tendon the past few weeks, so perhaps that is factoring into his non-existent offensive game. He was 0-3 from the floor.

Durrell Sumemrs lead the Spartans with 18 points and Draymond Green had a team high 11 rebounds. After the game Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said "It's been a long time since we were manhandled like this. To be honest with you, it's been a long time" He would go on to say "We turned into a pretty boy jump shooting team instead of a blue-collar fist fighting team."

In his post game remarks, Jim Boeheim spoke about playing in Madison Square Garden. "We like to play here, we always have. It's a great place to play and we've had great success here for a long time." Credit that to the Orange heavy crowd, who were relentless all night in their support of their Orangemen. Syracuse leads the all time series against Michigan State 10-7.

Syracuse next plays Saturday December 11th in the Carrier Dome against Colgate (0-7). Tip off is scheduled for 7:00PM and the game will be televised live on SNY, the Big East Network.

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