Syracuse Advances At Big East Tournament; Faces Pitt Next
By JIM O’CONNELL, AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ James Southerland hit five 3-pointers in the first half to keep No. 19 Syracuse in the game and Brandon Triche keyed a big second-half run that gave the Orange a 75-63 victory Wednesday in the second round of the Big East tournament.
Fifth-seeded Syracuse (24-8) extended its Big East tenure with the win and the Orange will play fourth-seeded and 17th-ranked Pittsburgh in the quarterfinals on Thursday. Both Syracuse and Pittsburgh are leaving the Big East for the Atlantic Coast Conference after this season.
Syracuse, which had lost four of its last five games, looked more like the team that was second in the league in scoring (72.3). The Orange looked nothing like the team that managed just 39 points in a 22-point loss to Georgetown to close the regular season.
Syracuse, which managed the fewest points since a 36-35 win over Kent State on Dec. 1, 1962, matched its total from the Georgetown loss with its second field goal of second half for a 39-34 lead.
Southerland scored all but three of his 20 points in the first half, which finished in a 34-34 tie. Triche finished with 17 points and seven of those were consecutive points he scored in the 19-2 run that turned a 46-all tie into a 65-48 Syracuse lead with 4:41 to play.
Michael Carter-Williams, who is fourth in the NCAA at 7.58 assists per game, had 14, including two impressive alley-oop passes for dunks.
Aaron Cosby had 22 points for the 12th-seeded Pirates (15-18), who beat South Florida 46-42 in overtime in the opening round on Tuesday.
Seton Hall, which has been beset by injuries all season, couldn’t match the depth of the Orange. When center Eugene Teague, who had 13 points, picked up his third foul early in the second half it was just minutes later that the Orange took off on their game-breaking run.
Both teams had great games from beyond the 3-point line. Syracuse was 9 of 15 with Southerland going 6 of 9. The Pirates were 10 of 20 with Cosby making 4 of 6.
Seton Hall came into the game second in the league shooting 36.3 percent while the Orange came in shooting 31.3 percent, 12th in the conference.
Seton Hall led by 10 points three times in the first half when both teams started their impressive displays from 3-point range. Both teams hit six 3s, with Syracuse taking nine shots from beyond the arc and Seton Hall 12. The Pirates started 6 of 8 on 3-point attempts with Kyle Smith, a fifth-year transfer from Iona starting for just the 14th time this season, going 3 of 3.
Teague made two free throws with 8:33 left in the first half to give the Pirates a 28-19 lead. Syracuse, behind the active play of reserve forward Baye Moussa Keita, closed the half on a 9-2 run. Southerland started the run with his fifth 3 of the half and Keita closed it with a drive and one of two free throws to make it 34-all.
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