MBB : Keita posts career-high in scoring; Syracuse unhappy with officiating

September 17, 2020

first_imgBaye Moussa Keita didn’t miss a shot. For once, the sophomore center’s energy and effort made a splash on the offensive end.‘Baye was really good,’ SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. ‘He was just active. Moving and he’s playing with good guards that can get him the ball.’Off a C.J. Fair miss late in the second half, he fought through for the rebound and made the follow, putting Syracuse up by 23. It also concluded an offensive explosion for Keita, as he scored a career-high 14 points on 6-of-6 shooting in the Orange’s 98-74 dismantling of Albany on Tuesday. Deft defensively but not offensively in Syracuse’s (3-0) first two games, Keita brought it on both ends of the floor against the Great Danes.‘I was doing the same thing,’ Keita said. ‘Probably tonight I was probably more aggressive on the offensive boards.’The center finished with five rebounds to go with his career scoring night. All five were offensive boards. And that allowed him to play one of the best all-around games of his career.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn the first half, Keita sprinted at the front of the pack as Syracuse was in transition, taking a feed from Michael Carter-Williams to put Syracuse up 13.Keita later made post moves on his Albany defender, finishing with a two-handed slam in the second half.On a team with so many weapons, Keita’s performance just adds another to the arsenal if he stays consistent.‘You never know what can happen on this team, like tonight Baye had 14,’ SU guard Dion Waiters said. ‘Career high, probably. So it’s things like that and I was finding Baye a lot, he was active down there, he was running the floor, so I had to reward the big fella.’Keita stayed aggressive on the defensive end, too. Syracuse was up 65-43 in the second half when Albany guard Logan Aronhalt drove in from the left side of the baseline. He tried shooting from mid-range, but Keita was there for an emphatic swat, sending the Orange on a fast break.Boeheim said the production of both Keita and Fab Melo, who had eight points and seven rebounds, is a good sign.‘Baye’s active, he moves and he gets some easy baskets,’ Boeheim said. ‘He had 14 and Fab had eight, that’s pretty good production.’Syracuse overcomes 23 foul calls Clarence Armstrong signaled a charge on Gerardo Suero with 12:54 remaining in the first half. The Albany guard had sprinted full speed toward the basket, colliding with Dion Waiters in front of the basket.From the opposite side of the lane, Tim Higgins called for a blocking foul and overruled Armstrong.Boeheim was livid on the Syracuse sidelines, and Waiters wasn’t much happier after the game.‘Hell yeah, that was a charge,’ Waiters said. ‘He was out of control, but for the first time I tried to take a charge, they called a foul on me, so I don’t know.’Suero tied the game at 16 by knocking down a pair from the free-throw line, a place he and his Albany teammates became familiar with by the time the game ended. The Great Danes attempted 33 free throws Tuesday and made 26 of them in a losing effort on Tuesday night.But the 23 fouls called on the Orange and the 14-shot disparity between Albany and SU left Boeheim and the players a bit frustrated with the officiating.‘We hadn’t fouled at all, we’d been really good about not fouling,’ Boeheim said. ‘But tonight there were some really unbelievably strange calls, and to let them shoot 33 free throws was shocking.’Though some of the calls were questionable, like the block on Waiters, others were a result of Syracuse’s sloppy defense.Suero went to the line 12 times Tuesday, drawing multiple reach-in fouls as he drove to the basket. Similarly, James Southerland was called for over-the-back fouls against smaller defenders after failing to get in good rebounding positions.Fortunately, those mistakes can be fixed, and Boeheim said the team will work on them the rest of the week. The same errors that didn’t prove costly against Albany could certainly be the difference between a win and a loss in a Big East game with a team that can match Syracuse’s size and athleticism.‘That’s a lot of foul shots,’ Boeheim said. ‘We need to do better. We can’t be putting people on the foul line 33 times.’mjcohe02@syr.edumcooperj@syr.edu Comments Published on November 15, 2011 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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