SU endures Fine tumult, wins NIT title

Orange also bash Colgate to stay undefeated

James Southerland contributed 14 points on six-for-eight shooting, grabbed six rebounds and had four steals. Dion Waiters added 16 points and four assists. Utica-Notre Dame graduate Pat Moore led Colgate respectively with 19 points as former Jamesville Dewitt star Nick Pascale delivered eight points.

The visiting Raiders battled the Orange to an 8-8 tie before SU took over with an 11-1 run. Waiters and Scoop Jardine netted five points each and scored their team’s first 14 out of 19 points.

Southerland’s full-court pressure led to points, too, as he connected on a 3 from the left wing, a mid-range jump shot and converted an easy lay-up, all in a 17-second span. What was once a competitive battle got further away when the Orange went on a 25-5 run.

Syracuse’s 2/3 zone maintained their stifling intensity holding their opponent into a lengthy scoring drought. Simply put, the Raiders were manhandled by the Orange’s depth, size and talent as the margin grew to 52-19 by halftime.

In the second half, Colgate fought valiantly but never was effective carving into SU’s enormous lead. Despit e the offense of Moore and Pascale, the Orange stayed far out of reach as Jardine, with 11 points and four assists, led the way late.

As the scene shifted to New York for the NIT, SU’s players and coaches continued to address the Fine saga, all the while getting ready for Wednesday semifinal against Virginia Tech.

For 30 minutes, it proved a real struggle, the Hokies leading by seven at three different points in the first half and staying in front until Brandon Triche hit a 3-pointer to tie it 42-42, midway through the second half.

That kick-started an 11-0 spurt, which put SU ahead for good and eventually led to a 69-58 victory. Joseph was sensational, contributing 20 points and 10 rebounds as Fair also had a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds. Triche chimed in with 18 points as Waiters finished with 11 points.

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