NEW YORK — When was the last time Brandon Triche made a 3?
When answering the question, Triche started, but then his voice faded off. “I haven’t made a 3-pointer in…”
A smile appeared across Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim’s face. James Southerland, seated right next to Triche started to laugh, as did several of the media contingent on hand.
Finally, Triche let out a self-depreciating laugh and finished his sentence. “Like a month.”
It may not have been a month, but it actually felt longer than that for the senior guard.
Triche drained a pair of 3-pointers as part of a 17-point effort, as the Orange dispatched Seton Hall on Wednesday afternoon at Madison Square Garden in the Big East Tournament’s second round, 75-63.
Triche’s last 3 came on a 1 for 7 effort against Georgetown on Feb. 23. In the games sandwiched between then, Triche had been 0-10.
His second 3-pointer of the game came with 7:40 left in the game, giving Syracuse a 57-48 lead. He pumped his fists and let out a roar, seemingly exorcising any demons from the past three weeks.
“I figured I’d celebrate a little bit,” Triche said. “I’m showing a little bit more emotion this year than any other year.”
Triche’s refound shooting touch came at a critical time for the Orange.
Syracuse limped into the Big East tournament losers of four of their last five games. Once destined for a No. 1 seed and a NCAA tourney run through Philadelphia and Washington, DC, SU seems more likely to be exiled to San Jose, Calif and the western regional.
But the Orange still have time to control where they play, and a deep run in the Big East tournament would certainly help.
SU played perhaps its best game of the season offensively, as it shot 56 percent from the field, and an even more torrid 9 for 15 from beyond the arc.
“Our offensive ball movement was the best it’s probably been all year,” Boeheim said. “For us to be effective, Mike [Carter-Williams] has to make plays, and Brandon and CJ [Fair] and James have to score. That’s what happened in this game.”
Triche was right at the center of it, shaking off a three week funk.
How does Triche keep it up?
“Just trying to do whatever I can to help the team,” Triche said. “Just being confident out there and trying to make plays.”
On Wednesday, it seemed to work.