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No. 4 Syracuse beats Long Beach State 84-53

  • Article by: JOHN KEKIS
  • Associated Press
  • December 6, 2012 - 9:13 PM

SYRACUSE, N.Y. - C.J. Fair had 16 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, Michael Carter-Williams added 15 points and 10 assists, and No. 4 Syracuse beat Long Beach State 84-53 on Thursday night.

Syracuse (7-0) upped its home winning streak to 27 games, tops in the nation, and has won 49 consecutive regular-season nonconference games. Long Beach State (3-5) had a two-game winning streak snapped.

It was the third double-double of the season for Carter-Williams, the Orange's 6-foot-6 point guard, who boosted his assist total for the season to 67. Brandon Triche had 11 points and five assists, Trevor Cooney matched his career high with 11 points, and Rakeem Christmas had a career-high 11 points for the Orange.

Dan Jennings had a career-high 20 points and Peter Pappageorge added 11 for Long Beach State. James Ennis, the 49ers' leading scorer and rebounder, had 10 points and seven boards.

Long Beach State has beaten two ranked teams under coach Dan Monson — Pittsburgh and Xavier — and both were last season. But so far this season the 49ers are 0 for 3, having also lost to North Carolina (78-63) and Arizona (94-72).

Syracuse played long ball in the first half, hitting 7 of 15 from beyond the arc in building a 20-point halftime lead. Carter-Williams matched his career high with three, while Cooney and Triche each hit two.

It was unlike the first six games for the Orange. Syracuse entered the game 33 of 112 from beyond the arc (29.5 percent), and without super sub James Southerland's contribution — 18 of 38 (47.4 percent) — that figure was a whole lot worse (20.3 percent). In its win over Eastern Michigan on Monday night, Syracuse shot 1 for 10 from beyond the arc in the first half and finished 5 of 22. The Orange finished 10 of 28 against the 49ers.

Just like they did against Arizona, the 49ers fell behind early as the Orange dominated the glass and finally found their range from outside. Syracuse outrebounded Long Beach State 10-2 in the first 6 minutes, with Fair converting a follow after two misses in close to stake the Orange to a 16-4 lead at 14:31.

Long Beach State rallied as Pappageorge and Ennis hit 3-pointers and Ennis converted a dunk on an alley-oop pass. But after Pappageorge hit another from beyond the arc to pull the 49ers within 25-19, the Orange went into high gear.

Cooney drained a 3, Jerami Grant hit a jumper, Cooney followed with a steal and dunk, and Carter-Williams and Triche hit 3-pointers to put the Orange up 38-26 with 4:38 left.

Syracuse closed the half with an 11-3 spurt to take command. Carter-Williams, who leads the nation in assists, had six without a turnover before the break, the prettiest coming on an over-the-shoulder pass to Christmas for a dunk that boosted the lead to 14.

The Orange had its share of luck, too. When Grant dropped the ball in the lane on a drive, it landed at the feet of Christmas, and he slammed it home with 1:37 left.

Mike Caffey's jumper at the buzzer for Long Beach State made it 49-29 at halftime, but the Orange didn't let up in the second half. Syracuse opened with a 12-4 run and built the lead to 28 points on Southerland's lay-in with 15:49 left. It was the first and only basket of the game for the Orange's leading scorer.

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