Men's Basketball

Cooney displays all-around performance in win over Duke

Sam Maller | Photo Editor

Syracuse may have just taken four 3s in its win over Duke on Saturday, but its sharpshooter still had an effect on the game.

Syracuse took only four 3-pointers compared to Duke’s 36, but Trevor Cooney still had an efficient game.

He scored 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, canning two of the Orange’s three 3s. Cooney also dribbled the ball up and ran the offense in stretches.

The sharpshooter helped Syracuse to a 91-89 overtime win over No. 17 Duke. It was Cooney’s best shooting percentage since SU’s win over High Point on Dec. 20.

“It definitely feels good,” Cooney said. “I made some shots, some plays off the dribble. Definitely had some confidence. I’ve just got to continue to be aggressive and look to score.”

Cooney found himself in a rut early in 2014. He hit just 10-of-39 shots over a three-game span and struggled to generate any consistency from downtown or inside the arc.

After a strong showing against Boston College, Cooney failed to produce for another three-game stretch. But on Saturday, he returned to form.

Cooney hit a wide-open 3 from the left side to give Syracuse a 54-50 lead eight minutes into the second half. He also got to the basket for a floater that bounced in after a nifty dribble move and created space with his body to hit another jumper.

Both Boeheim and Cooney know the key for Cooney is to be aggressive. After the Miami game, Boeheim said it’s difficult for Cooney to make mistakes because all he does is shoot.

But on Saturday, he did more. And he still didn’t make mistakes.

“When I’m aggressive, good things happen,” Cooney said.

Cooney also brought the ball up in spurts — even when Ennis was on the floor. He had no problem breaking Duke’s press or running the half-court offense.

He looked comfortable dribbling in traffic and didn’t commit a turnover in 38 minutes.

“He can do that,” Boeheim said. “It was good for him. They denied Tyler. Trevor did a really good job.”

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