continued Southerland not only contributed 22 points, but had five steals, four of which occurred in the first half in a three-minute span. He was seven-for-12 from the field, four-for-six from 3-point range, and has emerged as a strong candidate for the Sixth Man award that Dion Waiters took a year ago.
“We were not as sharp offensively and James bailed us out early,” said Boeheim. “He made a couple of shots in the first half that gave us some distance.”
Fair had a solid game, giving SU 12 points and 6 rebounds. Triche registered 10 points, as did Rakeem Christmas, matching a career high, and Carter-Williams.
As usual, SU was active defensively, posting 19 steals, three shy of the school record. In addition the Orange forced 24 turnovers and cashed in 20 points off those Tiger miscues. The Orange had 16 fast-break baskets.
In the first half, Syracuse dashed out to a 10-2 lead as freshman Dajuan Coleman, subdued on offense for the first two games, scored two interior baskets.
After both teams traded a flurry of turnovers, it was SU that elevated its offensive intensity. Fair and Triche took over and, combined with Southerland, put together a 14-2 run.
But the Tigers did not come to the Dome to be pushed around. They fought back, using outside shots to claw back, capped by Clay Wilson hitting a 30-foot shot at the buzzer, that cut SU's margin to 35-25 at the break.
Through most of the second half, SU kept that double-digit lead until Princeton roared back with more 3-pointers, making it 45-39 with 13:39 left.
After a time-out, though, SU countered with two scoring runs the first of which reeled off eight straight points, and the second one was a 12-3 run that ultimately sank the Tigers.
Fair, Christmas, and Carter-Williams gave the Orange more than enough balance of points that allowed their team to remain unblemished.
“You have to be confident in yourself,” Sutherland said of playing a key role as none-starter. “It's matter of going out there and doing what I need to do.”