Syracuse holds off New Hampshire to open new era

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Judah Mintz scored 20 points on Monday as Syracuse began the post-Jim Boeheim era by knocking off visiting New Hampshire, 83-72.

Justin Taylor chipped in 14 points in the head coaching debut of Adrian Autry, a former player and assistant under Boeheim, who coached the Orange for the previous 47 seasons.

J.J. Starling, a highly rated transfer from Notre Dame, had 10 points on 3-of-13 shooting in his Syracuse debut. Quadir Copeland and Maliq Brown chipped in 10 points apiece for the Orange (1-0), with Copeland grabbing a game-high 13 rebounds.

Clarence Daniels paced New Hampshire (0-1) with 21 points. Naim Miller and Ahmad Robinson each contributed 15 points for the Wildcats.

Syracuse stepped on the gas from the opening tip, scoring the game’s first six points en route to a 28-6 advantage.

Chris Bell’s 3-pointer gave the hosts an early 9-2 advantage, and Mintz added a dunk and a jumper shortly thereafter. Copeland converted back-to-back buckets to give Syracuse its first 15-point edge at 21-6, and then the team eclipsed a 20-point margin when Peter Carey dunked to make it 27-6.

The Orange’s biggest lead came at 32-9 about 11 1/2 minutes into the contest before the Wildcats made a push to get their deficit down to 11 on Miller’s 3-pointer with just over three minutes left in the opening session.

Syracuse briefly pushed its lead back to 14 before Daniels dropped in a layup in the waning seconds to make it 44-32 at the break.

Daniels then scored the first four points of the second half as New Hampshire inched within 44-36. Syracuse answered with seven of the next eight points, capped by Mintz’s 3-pointer, for a 51-37 cushion.

The Wildcats would not go away, however, as Robinson scored five points during an 8-0 run that brought the visitors within 51-45.

Taylor kept the Orange comfortably in front with a four-point play and another 3-pointer two minutes later. Syracuse led by at least eight points down the stretch.