Dajuan Coleman scores a season-high 13 points against Montana State

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 22, 2015 at 11:10 pm Contact Chris: [email protected] | @ChrisLibonati Dajuan Coleman split two Montana State defenders before laying in his first bucket of the game. He hit a right-handed hook shot on his second. To start the second half, Coleman pulled up and hit a deep 2-point jump shot.The Bobcats didn’t have a player taller than 6 feet 8 inches in their starting lineup — four were all 6-foot-4 or shorter — and they didn’t have an answer for Coleman either.“Coming into the game,” Coleman said, “I just told myself if I had the hook shot, definitely take it.”Coleman’s season-high 13 points helped SU (9-3) beat Montana State (5-7), 82-60, in the Carrier Dome on Tuesday night. Just three weeks removed from playing his least amount of minutes all season, Coleman had his best offensive performance and fueled an Orange run at the start of the second half. The starting center finished 5-for-5 from the field, 3-for-3 from the foul line and pulled down four rebounds in just 12 minutes of action.He was especially effective at the start of each half, with 11 of his 13 points coming before the two under-16 -minute television timeouts.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Sometimes he rushes a little bit,” Hopkins said. “I thought he was in control, and it caused them a problem.”Coleman’s low-post production gave Syracuse some much-needed balance. Typically, Syracuse gets about 37 percent of its points from beyond the arc. Hopkins said teams will switch and move out on SU’s shooters because of its success from beyond the 3-point arc, but Coleman’s success in the post didn’t allow Montana State to do that as successfully. Against the Bobcats, Coleman led the Orange to score 44 points in the paint, more than 50 percent of its total of 82.“He was huge,” freshmen forward Tyler Lydon said. “He played real physical down low, he was able get a lot of offensive rebounds.”During the first half, Syracuse’s lead peaked early at 12 before bottoming back out at seven. The Orange eventually ended the half with a 14 point lead. When Coleman came back on the floor in the second half, he rattled off seven of SU’s first 10 points of the frame as SU traded baskets with the Bobcats.On his last bucket of the night, which came fewer than three minutes into the second half, Coleman backed down Montana State forward Danny Robison, who fell down onto the court, before laying in two.In the locker room after the game, Coleman held up a bag of ice and called for trainer Brad Pike over. Pike took some wrap and rolled it around Coleman’s leg and the ice as the center held the bag steady.“The last couple weeks, I’ve been feeling fantastic,” Coleman said of his surgically-repaired knee, which kept him out for 22 months before this season.And about three weeks ago, Coleman played just five minutes in Syracuse’s first loss of the year. After that game, in which the Orange fell to Wisconsin and was dominated in the paint, Coleman questioned whether SU head coach Jim Boeheim trusted him on the court.But since Mike Hopkins took over as the interim head coach against Georgetown, Coleman has averaged about 17 minutes per game and he hit a stride on Tuesday.“He’s been playing playing really well these past few games,” SU forward Tyler Roberson said. “He’s really coming into his own.” Commentslast_img

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