If you don't watch the TV show Damages, let me give you the rundown of every single story arc begins and ends. Patty Hewes (Glenn Close), a brilliant and ruthless lawyer, takes on a class-action lawsuit against some kind of evil corporation or scheming person who has bilked millions from innocent investors. At first, the shady individual in Patty's crosshairs is confident, downright excited about getting away with their crime. They even get what seems like a collection of small victories early on. But the whole while, Patty is pulling the strings. She's watching her enemy. Seeing how they react to getting the upper hand. How do they react when things don't go their way. She is constantly manipulating and conspiring.
And then she pounces. And she doesn't stop until everyone in her path is eliminated (one way or another). And when she's done destroying their companies, their families, their back accounts and their lives, all her enemies are left to do (other than put a bullet in their brain) is wonder where Patty Hewes was hiding her arsenal and why she decided to unleash it full bore of them.
I have to say...Tuesday night's 99-85 win over Providence felt a little bit like that.
On the first possession of the second half, Peterson connected on a three- pointer and it appeared that the Friars, who after Peterson's bucket led 55-47, were starting to build momentum to build a big lead.
However, Syracuse roared back.
Over the next five-plus minutes, the Orange embarked on a 14-0 run to move ahead 61-55. A put-back by Onuaku preceded two consecutive layups by Jackson that put Syracuse ahead, 57-55.
After another layup by Jackson, the next three Providence possessions resulted in a steal and ensuing layup for Syracuse. The first was again converted by Jackson, and the same result occurred on the Friars' next possession -- a steal this time paved the way for an easy uncontested layup by Brandon Triche and then another by Johnson.
The run was halted by a long turnaround jumper by Brooks, but Syracuse kept pouring it on. Rautins' three-pointer made it 66-57 with under 12 minutes to go before Jackson's dunk at the midpoint of the stanza put the visitors ahead, 75-60.
In my preview yesterday I hoped to see Andy Rautins string together a second-straight strong performance and he certainly delivered. Andy went nuts, going 8 of 12 from beyond the arc, scoring 28 points total and being the 2nd-half leader we've expected him to become. Rauts even unleashed a huge dunk (a DUNK!!!) followed by the most awkward bird-flap move I've seen in a long time. You know something special was going on (so much so that Andy's hair joined Twitter following the game).
Andy wasn't alone in the offensive outpouring. Rick Jackson added a career-high 28 points and 9 boards in a dominating performance. AO added 12 points and 9 boards as well. The Orange outscored the Friars 56-34 in the paint in what was a huge night for the big men.
Wes Johnson only scored ten points on the evening, two in the second half. Depends on how you look at it...did Wes realize it was Andy & Rick's night to shine and deferred to them? Or did he disappear once again in the second half when the Orange could have used him? Remains a mystery for now.
In a game that featured high-scoring and a massive amount of three-pointers, it was a key defensive stand by the Orange that turned the tide in the 2nd half.
The Friars’ 85 points were the most scored against Syracuse this season. Providence hit 14 3-pointers, including 10 in the first half, another high for an SU opponent this season. And the Orange’s 99 points were the most by Syracuse in its 15 Big East contests to date.
But after giving up 52 first-half points, Syracuse held the Friars to just two points in a key stretch at the start of the second half to take control of the game.
"The second half really started with our defense," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "We needed to stop them. We didn’t stop them (in the first half). If we’d given them another 52 points in the second half, we’d have lost by (five)."
With the win, Syracuse moves to 26-2 (!) and clinches a two-round bye in the Big East Tournament. They're also 8-0 on the road in conference. Now, we prepare for Villanova in The Game That Shall Be Hyped. More game links and recaps below the fold...
SU-Providence Recap...Brent Axe
Rautins on a roll; SU guard is shooting 57 percent from 3 in SU's last three games...Donna Ditota
THROWDOWN: Driven by second half scoring burst, Orange erases early deficit in win...Daily Orange
Jackson's career-high 28 points drive Orange offense in high-scoring win over Providence...Daily Orange
Orange crush PC’s upset hopes, 99-85...ProJo.com
Rautins key to Syracuse's success...Andy Katz
Orange Clinch Bye With Huge Second Half Against Friars...CuseOrange
Syracuse - Providence Postgame Reactions OR Puns & Alliterations...Orange44
The Orange Run the Friars Out of the Gym...Three Idiots on Sports
Wild Wild East...Orange Fizz
Andy Rautins on Syracuse's Win...YouTube
|Mike Waters post-game report|