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Orange Rout: Syracuse cruises past Southern New Hampshire in Exhibition Opener

Bourama Sidibe (left) and Tyus Battle (right) combined for 30 points and nine rebounds in Wednesday's exhibition win.

The Syracuse University men's basketball program returned to the court Wednesday night for its exhibition opener.

The Orange met Southern New Hampshire, an NCAA Division-II school.

Syracuse endured a roster turnover unlike many head coach Jim Boeheim has seen in recent memory.

Without the likes to Tyler Lydon, Andrew White III and John Gillon, among others, the Orange was forced to restructure its roster in a big way.

With the addition of Oshae Brissett, Howard Washington and Bourama Sidibe, Syracuse had to re-tool itself in order to compete in the rugged Atlantic Coast Conference.

The departure of Taurean Thompson weighed heavily on the composition of the team. Without him, Tyus Battle is now viewed as the go-to-guy on the team.

After Wednesday's exhibition opener, Battle is clearly the go-to-guy.

The sophomore guard finished with a game-high 20 points and five assists.

However, the Orange started slow out of the gates.

Southern New Hampshire took the 13-7 lead, but that's when Boeheim made the change to the full-court press defense.

From there, Syracuse went on a huge run -- a 22-0 run to finish the first half.

Oshae Brissett (17 points, 11 rebounds) and Howard Washington (11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists) scored in double-figures to lead the way for the freshmen newcomers.

Additionally, Bourama Sidibe, a 6-foot-10 center out of St. Benedict's Prep in Newark, NJ, finished with an eye-popping six blocks on the night, to go with 10 points and eight rebounds.

In Syracuse's 84-54 win, the Orange shot 45.2 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from three point territory.

"Very important, very important," Boeheim responded when asked the level of importance of exhibition games with a young team. "We have young guys. When you have a veteran team, they don't really matter. You just try to get through them. But with these guys, it makes a big difference. [They're] very important games.

"And they played really well against us," he continued, "they moved the ball. When we weren't playing good defense, they were scoring. We finally got it going. We started taking [things] away and started covering better, moving better. This was a good first effort -- really good."

Syracuse will be back in action Monday night, playing host to Southern Connecticut State at 7 p.m.

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