Canisius-Syracuse Preview

A seemingly innocuous victory over Canisius four years ago has

turned into a staggering winning streak for Syracuse.

The fourth-ranked Orange look to extend their winning streak

over non-conference opponents to 51 games Saturday night against a

Golden Griffins team that hasn’t won at Syracuse in nearly 45

years.

The Orange (8-0) last dropped a regular-season game to a team

outside the Big East on Dec. 15, 2008, losing 72-69 to Cleveland

State. They bounced back two days later with an 82-60 win over

Canisius (6-1).

That started a stretch of 50 consecutive wins over

non-conference teams in the regular season, during which the Orange

have outscored opponents by an average of 22.3 points. The run

includes another victory over the Golden Griffins, 86-67 on Nov.

14, 2010.

The streak wasn’t in much jeopardy last Saturday, when the

Orange coasted to a 108-56 win over Monmouth. That marked their

28th consecutive home victory, the longest active streak in the

nation.

Facing Canisius should keep them rolling. Syracuse has won 20

straight in the series since an 80-76 loss in 1975. It is also 10-0

against the Golden Griffins at the Carrier Dome, and hasn’t lost to

them at home since 1968.

Those streaks may keep going with another dazzling effort from

Michael Carter-Williams, the nation’s leader with 10.4 assists per

game.

Against the Hawks, the sophomore guard had 15 points and 16

assists, the most for Syracuse since Sherman Douglas tied an NCAA

record with 22 in January 1989.

“He’s been making those passes,” Jim Boeheim said. “He could

have had 16, two or three times, but we didn’t make them.”

Carter-Williams credits his emergence to being used sparingly

off the bench last season. He’s already 21 minutes shy of the 269

he totaled in 2011-12.

“It kept me patient,” he said. “It taught me that I still have a

lot of work to do. I was looking forward to so much this year and I

wanted to be prepared. I think it’s all showing now.”

Freshman guard Trevor Cooney is proving to be strong from beyond

the arc, making 10 of 22 attempts while averaging 12.3 points over

the past three games. He hit 5 of 9 3s and finished with a

season-high 15 points last Saturday.

Canisius, which is off to its best start since 1973-74, is

thriving from behind the arc over the last two games, connecting on

26 of 52 shots. It set a team record with 17 3-pointers in Sunday’s

94-82 victory at Marist to surpass last season’s win total.

“I’ve always been a big believer in the 3-point shot and we got

on a bit of a roll (Sunday),” first-year coach Jim Baron said.

Harold Washington has been key, leading Canisius with 18.6

points per game, while hitting 18 of 32 from long range. He hit 6

of 11 3s en route to a season-high 25 points Sunday.

Fellow guard Billy Baron is averaging 17.7 points, and came two

rebounds shy of his first career triple-double against the Red

Foxes. The junior finished with 16 points and 11 assists.

Boeheim is two victories shy of joining Mike Krzyzewski and Bob

Knight as the only coaches to reach 900 in Division I history.

If Syracuse’s dominance holds against Canisius, he’ll get his

first crack at joining that elite group Monday versus Detroit.