Perhaps all those too-close-for-comfort wins earlier this season happened for a reason after all. To prepare the Orange for the many too-close-for-comfort finishes ahead in the Big East. After watching their 16-point lead evaporate, the Orange fought back late to ensure an 81-74 victory over Providence Tuesday night and re-affirm their ability to finish (unfinished) business (box score).
Kris Joseph poured in a career-high 27 points as 5th-ranked Syracuse held off a late push from Providence in an 81-74 win in the Big East opener for both teams at the Carrier Dome.
Scoop Jardine supplied 21 points and seven assists while Rick Jackson provided nine points and 17 rebounds for the Orange (14-0, 1-0 Big East), who have dominated the all-time series with a 44-10 advantage.
Providence pulled to within 51-47 on a Brooks foul shot with 13 1/2 minutes to play before the hosts embarked on a 14-2 burst to forge a 65-49 lead with just over nine minutes remaining.
Of all people, Joseph can credit Donte Greene for his currently-hot hand. Specifically, he can credit "The Donte Greene Drill."
"(Murphy) called it the Donte Greene drill," Joseph said, referring to the former SU player. "He had me shooting with a Big Ball before and after practices. At first, I wasn’t too fond of the idea. I didn’t know what it would do for me, but it definitely shows in games. He said that it would help my consistency by making me more precise shooting.
As for Scoop, that 21 point finish is impressive considering he only had four points with around 12 minutes left. Then, Jardine got ooh yea that's hot.
And then during one 3-minute span, Jardine was a one-man SU wrecking crew. He scored nine of the Orange men’s 14 points during a critical stretch of the game, when the Orange built a 16-point lead that created what proved to be valuable cushion between itself and the visiting Friars. Jardine also assisted on a 3-pointer Brandon Triche swished from the corner.
And then there's Rick Jackson, who had another boring-ass 9 points-17 rebound performance. God, Rick, do something new, will ya??? Among those nine points is five free-throws. Rick made five of six on the night, including one that he banked (but did not call).
He also got Higgins'd when he was called for a tech over an errant elbow that may or may not have actually done anything. In fact, as you watch the highlight here, Vincent Council's fall to the floor just qualified him to play for the Italian National soccer team it's so flop-tastic. Not surprisingly, Jim Boeheim found the call to be bullroar.
"The rule is a terrible rule," Boeheim said. "A guy’s running around you, so you’re trying to protect the ball. Ricky didn’t really even swing. The guy ran into his elbow. They said he moved his elbow. I don’t think he even moved it.
Brandon Triche ended up having a respectable 15-point performance. He's still trying to put together a complete game but he's glad to finally put together at least one solid half.
"When I start scoring, I can just keep on scoring," Triche said. "I always score in bunches. I try to have two great halves and I have yet to do that. But I think it was just knocking down shots. Just being able to run down the floor. Scoop was playing great. They had to check him a little harder. Put a little more attention on him. And it just helped me get open shots."
C.J. Fair continued to sit for the Orange and that meant more PT for James Southerland. Southerland took advantage by logging 28 minutes, scoring 8. Mookie Jones DNP, meanwhile, though I get the feeling he knew that was coming by the way he sulked on the bench during warm-ups.
- TECHNICAL KNOCKOUT: Late run after Jackson elbow helps SU hold off Friars in conference opener....Daily Orange
- Providence - Syracuse Postgame Reactions OR World Cup Caliber Fouls...Orange44
- Joseph’s career-high leads SU past Providence...SUJuiceOnline
- SU's Joseph plays big role...Watertown Daily Times