Tulane had done exactly what it had wanted to do. With seven minutes left in the first half of Tuesday night’s game against No. 1 Syracuse, the Green Wave was down 22-19.
But things quickly unraveled.
Kris Joseph hit a 3-pointer. Then Brandon Triche did. Shortly after, James Southerland fired in one of his own.
Tulane had no answer for Syracuse’s onslaught.
By the time the Green Wave went into intermission, a once manageable three point deficit turned into a 41-19 blowout. The Orange would go on to win 80-61 to finish its non conference schedule 13-0, the third straight season that SU has accomplished that feat.
“I remember just watching, it seems unreal like a video game,” forward CJ Fair said to reporters following the game. “One minute you’re up five, and you look two minutes later and you’re up 17.”
If the game Fair was playing was NBA Jam, Syracuse was “on fire” until early in the second half. SU hit its last six shots going into halftime and held Tulane scoreless for nearly nine minutes.
During that stretch, the Orange knocked in five shots from beyond the arc. It was part of a 20-0 run, similar to Syracuse’s 23-0 run it had against NC State on Dec. 17.
“I think it is the game,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “That is just the game of basketball, not this team. Every game of basketball is pretty much a game of runs. You get a run, and that is what I pretty much think it has always been.”
Certainly games have runs, but not where a team will score 20 unanswered. But that has come to be expected from the Orange, who will head into 2012 as the No. 1 team in the country.
“We executed well. We got good shots. We shared the ball—we had three or four really good extra pass plays where everybody hit a three,” Boeheim said. “James Southerland had one or two and Kris Joseph got one. Then Brandon Triche got one at the end. It was just good ball movement and getting the ball to the open man. Guys made shots.”