Syracuse handles UNI 68-46 in season opener - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Syracuse handles UNI 68-46 in season opener

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SYRACUSE(KWWL)--Rick Jackson and Kris Joseph scored 14 points each, and Syracuse (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) recovered from a slow start to beat Northern Iowa 68-46 on Friday night in the season-opener for both teams.

It was the 830th career victory for Orange coach Jim Boeheim, tying him with Jim Phelan of Mount St. Mary's for fifth all-time in Division I.

Dion Waiters had 10 points for the Orange.

Johnny Moran scored 15 points and Anthony James had 12 for the Panthers who never found their shooting touch from long range. Kwadzo Ahelegbe added seven points and four assists.

Joseph, held to one free throw in the first half, scored 10 points and Jackson had six in the first seven minutes of the second half to key a

19-5 run.

Joseph started it with a 3 from the top of the key, Waiters hit a 3 from the right wing and Jackson's baseline hook gave Syracuse a 36-21 lead at 14:48.

The Panthers tried to rally from long range, but only Kerwin Dunham and Moran connected in the first 11 minutes as Northern Iowa fell behind by as many as 19.

And when Northern Iowa tried to go inside, the going was tough against the long Syracuse zone. The Panthers shot 6 of 33 on 3-pointers and 27.3 percent overall from the field for the game.

One of Boeheim's biggest concerns was replacing the outside prowess of Big East player of the year Wes Johnson and Andy Rautins, who both shot over 40 percent from beyond the arc last season. After hitting 11 of 16 3-pointers in an easy exhibition win Tuesday night over Division II Le Moyne, doing it against the man-to-man defense of the Panthers wasn't nearly so easy in the first half as the Orange made just 2 of 9.

The second half was completely different as Joseph came alive, hitting 2 of 3 from beyond the arc, and Syracuse hit 7 of 10 3-pointers in pulling away.

The Panthers milked the clock in an effort to slow the game, but they missed some open looks when the game was still close.

Scoop Jardine and Joseph excelled as the first players off the bench last season, combining to average nearly 20 points a game. Both moved into the starting lineup this season and both sputtered early, combining to miss nine shots and scoring just one point in the first half.

Joseph, who got an earful from Boeheim after failing to snare a rebound just past the midpoint of the first half, airballed a 3 at the buzzer and the Orange went into the locker room with a 23-20 lead.

Both teams struggled at the outset, each missing nine of 11 shots and combining to go 1 of 12 from beyond the arc. When Jackson hit two free throws for the Orange with 8:51 left in the first half, the score was tied at 12-all.

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