OTTAWA The Syracuse University basketball team turned a six-point halftime lead into a 26-point advantage and wrapped up its four-game Canadian tour with a 73-50 exhibition victory over the Ottawa Gee-Gees on Saturday in Monpetit Hall.
The Orange went on an 18-0 run that spanned more than eight minutes in the second half. Sophomore center DaJuan Coleman tallied a game-high 26 points to go with seven rebounds in 26 minutes of action. Junior forward Rakeem Christmas posted a double-double with 12 points and a game-best 11 rebounds.
Forwards Jerami Grant and B.J. Johnson each put up solid numbers for the Orange. Grant finished with eight points and six rebounds while Johnson narrowly missed a double-double of his own, recoding nine points and eight rebounds.
The Orange never trailed in the game and increased its field goal percentage to .540 (30-56) for the contest after shooting 60 percent (15-25) in the second half. Syracuses defense stifled Ottawas shooters into converting just 22 percent (17-76) from the field and 20 percent (9-44) from beyond the arc. SU also held a 49-39 edge on the glass.
Syracuse clung to a 34-28 lead at halftime and opened the second halfwith a 22-2 run. During the spurt the Orange scored 18 to go up 56-30 for its largest lead of the game. Coleman dominated during the stretch, scoring eight points for the visitors. Ottawa never got closer than 18 points the rest of the way as SU cruised to the victory.
In the opening half, with the game tied 6-6, SU scored 10 of 12 points, capped by a three from Ron Patterson, to take a 16-8 lead. The Gee-Gees would close the gap to 16-15 with Johnny Berhanemeskel netting all seven points for Ottawa during the spurt.
Syracuse responded with a 12-3 run to take its largest lead of the half at 28-18 with Grant scoring six points and Christmas adding four. The Gee-Gees were able to cut the deficit back to four points with 16 seconds left in the half, but B.J. Johnson converted a reverse layup as time expired to push the lead back to six at the half.
Berhanemeskel led all Gee-Gees with 15 points and grabbed six rebounds. Vikas Gill contributed eight points and eight rebounds for Ottawa.