Syracuse, NY (Sports Network) - The fourth-ranked Syracuse Orange continue a
five-game homestand when they host the Long Beach State 49ers in a non-
conference bout at the Carrier Dome Thursday night.
This matchup with Syracuse continues what has been a rather tough schedule to
start the season for Long Beach State. The 49ers have played four of their
first six games on the road and have already faced a pair of ranked teams in
No. 20 North Carolina and No. 8 Arizona, both losses. Overall the 49ers have
just a 3-4 overall record but have split their four games on the road. The
49ers have another tough task ahead following this game, as the take on No. 7
Ohio State in Columbus.
After a 84-48 rout of Eastern Michigan, Syracuse has won 26 straight games at
home and 47 straight regular season non-conference matchups. At 6-0 the Orange
have risen to No. 4 in the current national rankings. The Orange began the
season No. 9 in the polls and have not been out of the top-10 since the
end of the 2010-2011 season. Syracuse will face Monmouth next at the Carrier
Dome before opening the Gotham Classic.
There have been only two previous meetings between these teams, with both
ending in Syracuse victories. The most recent was a 79-55 victory in the
Carrier Dome during the 2008-09 season.
The 49ers let a 31-25 halftime lead slip away against instate rival Fresno
State in a 64-59 loss in its last time out. Long Beach State shot 55.0 percent
in the first half but managed to hit only 29.6 percent of its shots in the
final 20 minutes including an 0-of-7 showing from 3-point range.Success from
beyond the arc dictated the outcome as the 49ers were outscored 21-9 from long
distance. James Ennis managed a 23-point, 13-rebound double-double in the
Long Beach State has not had the type of offensive success it enjoyed last
season as it is scoring only 65.0 points per game and shooting 40.1 percent
from the field. Losing star point guard Casper Wells has also depreciated the
team's ball movement as the 49ers only hand out 9.9 assists per game.
Defensively the 49ers have held teams to 41.9 percent shooting but are still
being outscored (-5.6) and topped on the boards (-4.2). James Ennis (16.4 ppg,
7.9 rpg) has taken the reins of the team as one of the few holdovers and has
been putting together a strong season both in scoring and rebounding. Michael
Caffey (11.4 ppg, 4.1 apg) took over for Wells at the point but has struggled
to find his shot by connecting on only 29.2 percent of his field goal
attempts. At 6-foot-7, Kris Gulley (8.7 ppg, 5.4 rpg) has the size to score
and crash the glass.
Despite starting slow against Eastern Michigan, Syracuse was easily able to
take down the Eagles by connecting on 51.4 percent of its shots in the second
half. A game after tying the single-game record at Syracuse with nine 3-
pointers, James Southerland missed all five of his shots from beyond the arc
and finished with just six points. Syracuse had a 50-37 edge in rebounding and
benefited from 24 turnovers by Eastern Michigan.
As might be expected of a team ranked so high, Syracuse has put up impressive
numbers on both ends of the floor. Syracuse is scoring 80.8 points per game
and shooting 46.8 percent from the field. The Orange also assist on 16.2 field
goals per game and are out rebounding the opposition by a +9.0 margin. On the
other end Syracuse has blanketed opposing teams surrendering only 33.7 points
per game while allowing the second lowest field goal percentage (33.7) in the
country. Southerland (16.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg) is a forward that spreads the floor
with his ability to heat up from the outside. Brandon Triche (15.0 ppg, 3.3
apg) and Michael Carter Williams (11.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 9.5 apg, 3.7 spg) give
the Orange a ton of talent and production out of the backcourt. C.J. Fair
(10.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg), Rakeem Christmas (6.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg) and DaJuan Coleman
(7.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg) give Jim Boeheim a nice rotation in the frontcourt as well.
The Sports Network