Friday, November 30, 2012

Southerland for 35

James Southerland led Syracuse to a Big East / SEC Challenge win over Arkansas with a great night of shooting, scoring 35 points for the Orange.  Southerland tied the school record for three point shots in a game, making 9, tying Gerry McNamara and Andy Rautins.  Southerland has always had the shooting touch, and it is nice to see the senior get a chance to show his stuff on national television.
Southerland hit nine out of thirteen three point shots for the game.  He is the first Syracuse Orangeman to score 30 points since Wesley Johnson scored 31 against Gonzaga on March 21st, 2010 in the NCAA Tournament three seasons ago.
His 35 points was the most by an Orangeman since Jonny Flynn scored 35 against Providence on January 28th, 2009, four seasons ago.  Southerland's effort was the most points by a Syracuse bench player ever, and the first time a bench player scored 30+ points in a game since George Hicker did it against West Virginia on February 19th, 1966.
I find it ironic that the last six times a Syracuse player has scored 30 or more points, they have done it on the road.  Southerland was at Arkansas, Johnson in the NCAA against Gonzaga, Flynn at Madison Square Garden against UConn, again Flynn, this time at Providence, and finally Eric Devendorf at Villanova. The last Syracuse player to score 30+ points at home was Demetris Nichols with 37 against St. Johns in February of 2007.
Almost lost in the night was the fact that Michael Carter-Williams fell one assist short of a triple double.  He had 10 rebounds, 17 points and 9 assists.  A collegiate triple double is tough, with only 40 minutes of play. It has been done only nine times in Syracuse history, by five players, the last being Allen Griffin in 2001. That list also includes Derrick Coleman, Lazarus Sims, Leo Rautins (3x) and Dave Bing (3x).  I would bet even money that Carter-Williams will accomplish the feat is his collegiate year, particularly if he stays around through his junior season. He is an assist man, the points come easy, and at 6'6" a big rebounding night is always possible. I do find it ironic that he missed his triple double by the assist, considering he leads the nation in that category.
Brandon Triche once again showed that he is a big moment player, stepping up in the crunch time in the second half, making 10 straight points to stop a late Arkansas surge. Triche has the reputation of making the shot when one is needed, and he did it again.
Congratulations to the Orange on a fine win and to James Southerland on his great night.

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