It didn't take Colgate coach Emmett Davis long to sum up his Red Raiders' latest loss to Syracuse. Three words were enough: "Etan Thomas. Wow!"
Thomas scored 13 points and blocked six shots Monday night to set a Syracuse career record as the No. 14 Orangemen easily defeated Colgate 83-49.
Colgate (2-2), fresh from a 76-59 upset of Canisius, reverted to familiar form against Syracuse (4-0), losing to the Orangemen for the 35th straight time.
All five Syracuse starters hit double figures, while two of Colgate's starters Pat Diamond and Devin Tuohey did not score. Combined, they were averaging 17 points a game and that hurt.
"We couldn't get any shots around the basket because Etan was there," Davis said. "Pat Diamond was 0-for-5 and he had one rebound. And that's not the way he plays. You credit Etan. His defense and his presence, you're just thinking about him all the time."
"I think we had a lot of balance, but I still think we could have played a lot better than we did," said Thomas, whose block three minutes into the game of a shot underneath by Pat Campolieta broke Bouie's record.
Even though Colgate scored most of its points off layups and close-in shots, the Red Raiders shot only 33 percent from the field and were just 2-for-11 from 3-point range.
"You've got to give up something, and we felt like the perimeter shot was the one thing that we could probably try to give up and hey made us pay," Davis said.
Jordan Harris had 12 points and eight rebounds to lead Colgate. Campolieta had 10 points all in the first half but a sore ankle limited him to just six minutes in the second.
Ryan Blackwell had 10 points and a game-high 10 rebounds for the Orangemen. Damone Brown had 15 points and eight rebounds.
Syracuse built a double-digit lead in the first eight minutes of the game behind the defensive play of Thomas, whose first three blocks led to seven of the Orangemen's first nine points.
A 3-pointer by Preston Shumpert gave Syracuse a 20-8 lead with 12:34 left in the first half, and the Orangemen slowly pulled away. Kueth Duany's 3-pointer and a jumper by Blackwell at the buzzer gave Syracuse a 43-23 halftime lead.
Despite the 20-point deficit, the Red Raiders were playing much better than a year ago.
"You look at the score and you can't be thrilled," Davis said. "But we did some things this year in this game a lot better than a year ago. Last year, we turned the ball over 32 times. Going into the locker room we had eight assists and seven turnovers. We were pretty pleased with that."
Two more blocks by Thomas at the start of the second half maintained the tone of the game, and a 3-pointer by Jason Hart boosted the lead to 28 points, 53-25, with 16:46 left.
"We didn't play that well," said Hart, who led the Orangemen with 18 points and six assists. "There's still a lot of things we've got to work on."
One of them is long-range shooting. Syracuse was just 4-for-19 in the game.
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