Despite getting good looks, Syracuse’s shooters go cold from outside

first_imgPROVIDENCE, R.I. — Time and again James Southerland rose up and let loose a jump shot, just as he has all season, just as he has throughout his entire career. The 6-foot-8-inch forward with a silky smooth release saw plenty of open looks against a much smaller Providence lineup, easily drifting around the 3-point line for uncontested or barely contested shots.Yet time and again he misfired. Short, long, in and out.It was the same story for Brandon Triche, Syracuse’s senior guard who entered Wednesday’s game as the reigning Big East Player of the Week following a recent scoring outburst. But he too found all of the iron and none of the net.“That’s probably the worst shooting night we’ve had,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. “I’ve never seen James and Brandon get the kind of looks they got all night and just couldn’t make anything. But I think to their credit they hung in there. They tightened up on defense, got back in the game with their defense and rebounding.”Southerland and Triche combined to score 17 points in Wednesday’s 72-66 win over the Friars, but they needed 26 shots to do so. The duo made just one of 12 attempts from 3-point range.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBut as Boeheim indicated, their presence was still crucial in escaping the Dunkin’ Donuts Center with a win. They chipped in a combined 11 rebounds and eight assists while each playing at least 38 minutes in a game where Syracuse relied heavily on its veteran presence.“I think as a group this was a great team win,” Triche said. “We couldn’t look for one player tonight, just because of the way they were playing defense. A lot of guys were open, and we just made plays when we needed to.”For Southerland, those plays came in the form of 11 second-half points, every one of which the Orange needed. He finally got a mid-range jumper to fall in the opening minutes of the second half, which seemed to revive a bit of confidence. And his only 3-pointer of the game with 11:23 remaining gave Syracuse a one-point lead.Southerland nailed the shot from the top of the key and threw up his arms in a celebration that was equal parts joy and relief.“It’s either one or the other (that misses shots),” C.J. Fair said. “It’s not both James and Brandon. We stuck with it. I think James still did a good job doing other things. Brandon, he made some nice assists down the stretch.”With Syracuse’s two best shooters struggling (the team went 3-for-21 from downtown as a whole), Fair and sophomore forward Rakeem Christmas picked up the slack inside. Those two combined for 38 points, and Michael Carter-Williams chipped in with 17.It was just enough to edge the Friars in front of a lively near-sellout crowd. And SU fans can take solace in the fact that someone else stepped up on a night where its shooters were an anomaly. Comments Published on January 10, 2013 at 11:04 am Contact Michael: [email protected] | @Michael_Cohen13 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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