Instant Juice: Syracuse 87, Providence 73

A quick take on Syracuse’s 87-73 win against Providence:

WHAT HAPPENED: Providence was not intimidated by No. 1 Syracuse and played SU basket for basket, going into break trailing just 36-34. The Orange responded by going on a 9-0 run early in the second half to take a 49-38 lead with 16:24 left. But SU’s lead never grew more than 14 points, as the Friars hung around thanks to 48 percent shooting from the field. The game wasn’t fully decided until a corner 3 from Dion Waiters with 4:31 left gave the Orange an 11 point lead.

ANALYSIS: Syracuse’s depth was on display tonight, especially at the center position. With Fab Melo and Rakeem Christmas in foul trouble the whole and Baye Keita sitting out with a hip injury, SU coach Jim Boeheim was forced to play CJ Fair at center during a stretch in the second half. While certainly not ideal, Fair held his own, even drawing a charge on one play. With its defense struggling, the Orange relied on its offense and it produced as Syracuse shot 60.4 percent from the field and 10-for-17 from 3-point land.

HERO: Brandon Triche led the way with 16 points, hitting four 3-pointers. Kris Joseph (13), Fab Melo (11), Dion Waiters (13) and CJ Fair (12) were all in double figures, as well. Vincent Council paced the Friars with 17 points.

ZERO: Syracuse’s defense, which has been its biggest strength this season, was lackadaisical against Providence. SU forced just 12 turnovers, while the Friars were 22-for-45 from the field and shot 46.2 percent from beyond the arc. The Friars also outrebounded the Orange 25-22 and gave up nine offensive rebounds.

WHAT’S NEXT: Syracuse returns home to play Marquette on Sat, Jan 7. at 4:00 p.m. TV: BIG EAST Network/SNY.

About Wes Cheng 2635 Articles
Wes has worked for covering the New York Knicks, as well as for covering Syracuse athletics. Wes has also worked for the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and reported on the NBA and MLB for the New York Sportscene. A native of Long Island, New York, Wes graduated from Syracuse University in 2005. Follow him on Twitter @ChengWes.