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Syracuse starts year off right by rallying past Cornell

Syracuse, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - While his teammates came out flat, Trevor Cooney came out blazing hot.

Then his friends joined the party in the second half.

Cooney was 7-of-8 from beyond the arc and scored a game-best 27 points as No. 8 Syracuse downed Cornell, 82-60, in the season opener for both teams on Friday night.

"I got the first couple to go in and the game kind of flowed from there," Cooney said.

Trailing by six at the break, the Orange outscored the Big Red 50-22 over the final 20 minutes. Syracuse shot 63 percent and was 5-of-7 from long distance in the second half.

Cooney, starting in place of graduated four-year starter Brandon Triche, finished 10-of-12 from the field for the Orange (1-0), who are playing their first season in the ACC. C.J. Fair poured in 19 points, but had seven turnovers in the triumph.

"He bailed us out when we really needed him in the first half, when we really had nothing," Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said of Cooney.

Syracuse returns three starters from a team that went 30-10 and made the Final Four last year. Freshman Tyler Ennis, who dished out seven assists but scored just one point on an 0-for-6 effort, is taking over at point guard in place of Michael Carter-Williams.

Nolan Cressler had 20 points in the first half, but just three the rest of the way for Cornell (0-1), which has dropped 34 straight tilts against the Orange.

Cooney nailed a pull-up trey from the left wing in transition to cap a 10-2 Syracuse run to start the second half and give the Orange their first lead, 42-40, since it was 2-0 in the early going.

A 20-3 surge a bit later put the game away. Cooney hit a pair of 3-pointers and netted 10 points during the swing, which the sharpshooter finished off with a jumper for a 64-48 margin midway through the second half.

Syracuse cruised until the final buzzer.

Cressler had 20 points in the first 15-plus minutes as Cornell raced out to a 36-22 advantage.

"We came out really lazy," Cooney said.

Cooney then hit two triples during a 10-2 spurt that whittled the gap to 38-32 heading into the break.

Game Notes

Syracuse finished 10-of-20 from beyond the arc ... The Orange outrebounded the Big Red, 38-26 ... Cornell hasn't beaten Syracuse since Dec. 4, 1968 ... Rakeem Christmas had 12 points for the Orange.