Battle of unbeatens pits Syracuse against Holy Cross
Syracuse, NY (Sports Network) – The 15th-ranked Syracuse Orange are always
tough to beat at the Carrier Dome, and they seek another win there this
evening against the Holy Cross Crusaders.
Holy Cross is off to its best start since winning the first six games of
the 1988-89 campaign. The Crusaders improved to 5-0 on Saturday with a 66-57
triumph over William & Mary, and they have limited all five opponents to
fewer than 70 points.
As for Syracuse, it improved to 6-0 with an 81-71 victory over Canisius last
time out in the first road game of the season for the team. The Orange will
play eight of their next nine contests at the Carrier Dome and are not
scheduled to play a game outside the state of New York until January 7th.
The all-time series between Holy Cross and Syracuse is tied at 12-12, but the
programs haven’t squared off on the hardwood since 1981.
Holy Cross is scoring 68.4 ppg this season while limiting its opponents to
59.0 ppg on 38.5 percent shooting from the floor. The Crusaders are grabbing
9.2 rpg more than their foes, another contributing factor to the unblemished
record. Keith Simmons leads the club in scoring with 18.2 ppg on 49.2 percent
shooting from the field, and he is tops on the boards as well with 6.6 rpg.
Torey Thomas checks in with 14.4 ppg, and Tim Clifford rounds out a trio of
double-digit scorers with 11.2 ppg. Simmons scored a team-high 16 points in
the win over William & Mary last time out, and Clifford added 13 points. The
Crusaders were outstanding defensively, limiting William & Mary to 39.3
percent shooting from the floor. Holy Cross also earned a 17-8 advantage in
points from the foul line and a 43-32 rebounding edge.
Four starters and five players overall scored in double figures for Syracuse
in the win over Canisius last time out. Demetris Nichols led the way with 20
points, and Eric Devendorf chipped in 17 points. Paul Harris and Terrence
Roberts posted 12 points apiece and combined for 17 rebounds in the tilt. Josh
Wright finished with 11 points and eight rebounds for Syracuse, which racked
up 20 assists against only seven turnovers. The Orange shot a lackluster 22-
of-37 from the foul line, but they were still able to score 15 more points
than Canisius from the charity stripe. It is somewhat hard to believe that
Syracuse won the game despite being outrebounded by a 54-32 margin, including
30-13 on the offensive glass. The Orange are shooting 48 percent from the
floor this season while limiting 34.2 percent efficiency to opponents. Also
worthy of mention is that Syracuse is shooting roughly 30 free throws per