Cressler nets 20 in 1st half as Cornell threatens Syracuse

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Cornell came out with a clear-cut strategy against Syracuse’s 2-3 zone: Take plenty of shots from the perimeter.For the first 20 minutes of basketball on Friday night, that plan worked. Nolan Cressler seemingly couldn’t miss from anywhere on the court.“He got hot,” SU guard Tyler Ennis said. “But I thought we did a better job closing in on him in the second half and taking away his looks.”Cressler connected on 7-of-11 from the field — including a trio of 3-pointers in the first half — as Cornell built a six-point lead going into halftime. As a team, the Big Red shot 7-of-16 from downtown in the first half, but the Orange made the necessary adjustments after the break to rotate harder toward Cornell’s shooters and limit them to 3-of-16 in the second half.The No. 8 Orange (1-0) proceeded to come back from the deficit and cruise to an 82-60 victory over Cornell (0-1) at the Carrier Dome.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“They shoot like that, they’re going to win a lot of games in the Ivy League,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. “They made a lot of shots. We’re pretty good defensively, and they made seven 3s in the first half against us. Not many teams do that.”Two and a half minutes in, Cornell proved it could shoot. Syracuse’s defense swarmed the ball handler inside the paint, but point guard Robert Hatter was wide open. Devin Cherry kicked it out, and Hatter swished the 3.Three minutes later, Cressler hit a 3 to extend Cornell’s early lead to six. SU fought back, as a Michael Gbinije free throw cut the lead to 12-11.After that, though, the barrage was on.The Big Red’s next three made shots were all from 3-point range, and suddenly the underdog had pulled ahead by as much as 14 points. Cressler netted 20 by himself.“All of a sudden the guy pulls up, he banks a 3. All of a sudden, another guy who never shoots makes a 3,” Boeheim said. “Those things happen. You have to be able to overcome it.”In the second half, the tables turned. After shooting 43.8 percent from deep in the first half, Cornell connected on 18.8 percent of its attempts. The Orange, on the other hand, connected on 5-of-7 3-pointers in the second half.As SU guard Trevor Cooney powered Syracuse’s comeback with constant 3s, the Orange gave Cressler more attention defensively.Cressler got off five attempts in the second half and made just one of them.“A lot of blame was on the forwards for not coming up. He was torching us,” SU forward C.J. Fair said. “But second half, I think we had a little pep in our step.” Comments Published on November 9, 2013 at 3:53 am Contact Phil: pmdabbra@syr.edu | @PhilDAbblast_img

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