#6 Syracuse used a balanced attack to withstand an early second half run and held off Princeton for a 73-53 victory at the Carrier Dome. The Orange (3-0) had five players reach double figures, led by James Southerland’s 22 points, and relied on their superior athleticism to knock off the Tigers (1-3). SU forced 24 turnovers, including coming up with 19 steals, and turned them into 25 points, 13 coming on the fast break.
Syracuse got off to a strong start, tallying the game’s first half dozen points to trigger a 10-2 run in the opening four minutes. Shortly after, the Orange used a pair of consecutive triples to push the lead into double digits at 20-8 with ten minutes elapsed. After the two squads traded scores for a few minutes, SU nudged their lead out to 14 with under seven minutes on the clock, then to its largest point of the half at 35-19 with under three minutes until the break. Princeton struck back in the late moments, wrapping a pair of three-pointers around an Orange free throw to clip the Syracuse lead to 36-25 at halftime.
SU got the first bucket of the second half, then pushed the lead out to 14 less than 90 seconds into the action. After trading a pair of scores, the Tigers made their move, scoring eight straight points in under three minutes to get clip the Syracuse lead to 45-39. The Orange restored order with eight straight points of their own to retake a 14-point lead with just over 11 minutes on the clock. Princeton would get within 11 points twice, but SU slammed the door with a 12-3 run to end the game.
James Southerland’s 22 points off the bench were a game high and he did his damage all night long, scoring 11 in each half. Southerland also did his scoring in clusters, hitting four three-point shots, and put in an aggressive defensive effort, coming up with five steals. C.J. Fair helped the Orange cause with a dozen points, including nine in the second half. Michael Carter-Williams, Rakeem Christmas, and Brandon Triche each chipped in with ten. Carter-Williams also had nine assists and four steals while DaJuan Coleman and Triche each had three swipes.
The Orange will play their third straight home game on Sunday when Colgate visits the Dome. The Raiders (3-3) have averaged almost 80 points per game in their last four contests, winning three of them, including the last two. Tip-off is set for 1 pm and the game will be available on SNY.Jim Stechschulte