Malachi Richardson resurfaces, scores 17 points in win over Colgate

first_img Published on December 8, 2015 at 10:40 pm Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesse Michael Gbinije picked up his dribble on the left wing and Malachi Richardson was exactly where he was supposed to be. Trailing the fast break down the middle of the court. Chopping his steps so he could set up comfortably behind the 3-point line.Gbinije swung Richardson the ball, and he stared down the defender in front of him. Then he made a hard jab step with his right foot before taking one dribble to his left and stroking a 3.The make trimmed Colgate’s lead to one at a non-critical juncture — the 16:57 mark of the first half in a game that was unexciting throughout. But for Richardson, it was far more than a tiny dent on the scoreboard.“For me, making shots period, it does something for me,” Richardson said. “… Coming out early I wanted to get my jump shot going and I think I did a good job of that.”Before Syracuse (7-2) beat Colgate (2-6) 78-51 on Tuesday night, Richardson had made 3-of-20 3s in his last three games after shooting 41.9 percent from deep in the Orange’s first five. But the freshman broke his slump with a career-high 17 points against the Raiders, making 4-of-10 3s and adding five rebounds and three assists to his line.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textRichardson’s increased production — he scored a combined 10 total points in losses to Wisconsin and Georgetown last week — helped SU snap a two-game skid and was a product of his unwavering confidence.“Malachi’s got like the (Gerry McNamara) effect,” said Mike Hopkins, who filled in for SU head coach Jim Boeheim for the second of nine games. “Where if you miss nine he felt like he was making the next nine, and that’s the kind of shooter that you want. You want the guy that if they’re open they’re going to knock it down.”After getting home from Washington D.C., Richardson said he spent extra time in the gym over the last few days. That included extra shots with McNamara, who coaches the Orange guards — the former Syracuse star was in Richardson’s ear at practice on Monday. After missing two straight shots in a drill, Richardson slammed the ball off the Carrier Dome floor.So when the team started playing five-on-five in the half court, McNamara urged Richardson to have his feet ready to shoot on every play. He caught a pass from the wing and hit a 3. Then he went off the dribble from the right wing and hit one fading toward the corner. Soon, Richardson’s shots were pouring in and he looked at McNamara and smirked.Practice translated to the first half on Tuesday, when Richardson hit 3-of-7 from long range to snap out of his shooting funk.“Malachi is another weapon that we have, and when he gets going, when any of us get going, we’re a better team,” SU shooting Trevor Cooney said. “Especially when all of us get going, we’re a pretty good offensive team.”That’s what happened Tuesday, when Richardson and Gbinije each scored a game-high 17 and Cooney finished with 14. The trio combined to make 12 of the Orange’s 14 3s, which allowed Syracuse to space the floor from three spots and draw Colgate’s compact matchup zone away from the paint. And when the Raiders extended its pressure to the perimeter in the second half, Richardson attacked the rim and padded his point total at the foul line.For two games, Richardson’s jump shots fell short of the hoop while Syracuse fell short of its opponents. On Tuesday, the Orange’s offensive versatility resurfaced as its versatile freshman scorer woke up. Richardson is only nine games into his college career, but his contributions to a mercurial offense are already heavily affecting SU’s results.“It’s just basketball,” Richardson said. “I’m going to make shots and I’m going to miss them.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img


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