Published December 29, 2012
| Sports Network
Syracuse, NY – C.J. Fair led a balanced Syracuse scoring attack with 13 points, as the ninth-ranked Orange bounced back from their first loss of the season with a 57-36 triumph over Alcorn State as part of the Gotham Classic at the Carrier Dome.
Trevor Cooney donated 12 points off the bench, while DaJuan Coleman added eight points and six rebounds in the victory, which moved head coach Jim Boeheim (901) within one victory of Bob Knight for second place on the NCAA all-time wins list.
Marquiz Baker led all scorers with 15 points for the Braves (2-13), who have lost nine straight games.
Syracuse (11-1) was playing in its first game since a surprising 83-79 loss to Temple on Dec. 22, and despite a season-low scoring output, the Orange were able to avoid making it two losses in a row.
"Our defense was good. I think sometimes what happens when you lose your first game you come back and you start thinking about things," Boeheim said. "I think we got frustrated offensively, really, most of the night."
It wouldn't come easily for the Orange, though, as they failed to score a field goal over the first eight-plus minutes of the second half and the Braves took advantage.
With Syracuse holding an 18-point edge three minutes into the final frame, Alcorn State ripped off 11 straight points, including eight from Baker, to pull within 36-29 at the 12:18 mark.
Cooney's triple with 11:22 left gave the Orange their first field goal of the second half and Fair followed with a dunk to push the lead to 41-29 near the midpoint of the stanza.
Jamaal Hester answered with a layup to cut the difference back to 10, but the Orange reeled off 10 of the next 11 points to build a comfortable 51-32 lead with under five minutes to play.
Alcorn State went the final four-plus minutes without a field goal, allowing the Orange to cruise to victory down the stretch.
"We have a lot of new guys on the team, first time in this atmosphere, and I think they just got a little jittery," Baker admitted. "Just jitters, emotions."
Early on, Syracuse used a 12-0 run midway through the opening half to help build a 32-16 advantage at the break.
Syracuse improved to 9-0 at the Carrier Dome this season and has won a school- record 31 straight games at the Dome ... LeAntwan Luckett finished with 11 points for the Braves ... Alcorn State shot 43.8 percent from the field, compared to just 37.5 percent for Syracuse.