SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Jim Boeheim said he doesn’t care much to coach against his son Jimmy -- with good reason.
Jimmy Boeheim scored a game-high 25 points and had Cornell on the cusp of a huge upset, but his brother Buddy scored 22 points and Elijah Hughes led Syracuse with 22 points, 16 in the second half, as Syracuse pulled away from stubborn Cornell in the second half to defeat the Big Red 72-53 on Wednesday night.
“I don’t really like coaching against my son,” said Boeheim, who’s now 3-0 against Jimmy. “We do it once a year and we have to get through it. He played really well and I’m sure his mother is happy.
“He had really good control of the game tonight on the offensive end.”
Syracuse (3-1) had a 44-41 lead with just under 10 minutes to go but outscored Cornell (1-4) 28-12 the rest of the way.
“They are who they are,” Cornell coach Brian Earl said. “I think a lot of what we did in the first half was confuse them and they went in at halftime and said in the end, ‘We are who we are and they are who they are.’ That’s why they are who they are.
“It didn’t say much (being behind by just three). We lost by 19 or something like that so we have to step up,” Earl added.
Jimmy Boeheim stepped up.
“He had a glean in his eye that he wanted to do some stuff,” Earl said. “You need to do that against this team. We put him in different places so that the zone would change shape a little bit and he was aggressive.”
Jimmy Boeheim said he would’ve gladly traded his 25 points for a win.
“It was cool. It’s nice to score points but we wanted to come in and get the win. We thought we had a good chance,” he said. “We really executed the game plan well for 30 minutes. We kind of fell apart in those last 10 minutes. It would’ve been awesome to come in here and leave with a win but I’m proud of the way we fought.”
Brother Buddy, who was just 6 of 18 from the field and 4 for 13 from 3, thought their second matchup made for a great night for the entire Boeheim family.
“It’s very cool for both of us that we get the opportunity to play against each other,” Buddy Boeheim said. “It’s cool to see how far we’ve come from where we started.”
The win for Syracuse was the Orange’s 40th straight over their upstate New York neighbor dating back to 1968.
Both teams struggled on offense.
The Orange started the game 5 for 10 overall and 4 for 6 from 3-point range but then went 12 for 33 overall before heating up near the end. Syracuse finished 10 for 27 from 3, going 6 for 21 after the hot start.
“Like any zone you have to make shots,” coach Boeheim said. “I think we’ll make them more often than not. Hopefully that’s as bad as we’re going to shoot from the 3. I hope. We’ve got a lot of work to do. We’re far from anywhere close to a finished product.”
Cornell shot 35% for the game on 14-of-40 shooting, just 6 for 27 from 3 (22%). Cornell entered the game hitting just 29% from beyond the arc.
Cornell: The Big Red showed a lot of heart, hanging with Syracuse for 30 minutes, but was outmanned at the end.
Syracuse: After two strong showings, the Orange took several steps back against Cornell and is still searching for consistency on the offensive end.
ONE FOR THE THUMB:
Syracuse sophomore guard Jalen Carey, who recently lost his starting job to Joe Girard III, will miss eight to 10 weeks with a thumb injury and will likely seek a medical redshirt.
Cornell plays its third of four straight road games Saturday against Coppin State.
Syracuse concludes its season-opening five-game home stand Saturday against Bucknell.
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