Last time they played: Southerland leads Syracuse past Panthers in Big East tournament with 3-point stroke

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ If Syracuse’s run to the championship game of the 2013 Big East tournament was the “James Southerland Show,” its quarterfinal matchup with Pittsburgh was the second act.On college basketball’s biggest stage, the Syracuse sharpshooter carried his long-range stroke from the previous afternoon. He connected on all six of his 3-point attempts to lead the No. 19 Orange to a 62-59 triumph over No. 17 Pittsburgh at Madison Square Garden on March 14, 2013.Southerland set the Big East tournament record for made 3s without a miss as he dropped 20 points on the Panthers, and would eventually break the record for most 3s in tournament history.“When I’m shooting the ball, it’s just making sure every shot goes in and I’m really focused, making sure I help my team out as much as possible,” Southerland said after the game.In the Orange’s first game of the conference tournament, Southerland drilled 6-of-9 from 3-point territory to spearhead SU’s 12-point victory over Seton Hall.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAnd a day later, it was more of the same.The Orange built a 25-15 lead by the 5:31 mark of the first half behind a trio of 3s from the senior forward — including two in a span of two minutes, sparking a quick 10-0 SU run.When the Panthers bit back with a 12-5 spurt, Southerland countered with his fourth and fifth triples of the game and Syracuse took a 13-point edge into the locker room.In the second half, however, Pittsburgh whittled away enough to draw within five points with six minutes left on the clock. But on SU’s next possession, Southerland cut to the right wing and knocked down a catch-and-shoot 3 off a pass from Michael Carter-Williams to push SU’s lead to eight.“It’s a great feeling,” Southerland said. “I didn’t realize I was 6-for-6 until I looked down at the paper now. I don’t think about it. I just go out and play and make sure I make every shot.”Pittsburgh still managed to climb back. Talib Zanna’s layup with 31 seconds left cut the deficit to one point, but Carter-Williams drained four foul shots in the final 27 seconds to clinch the win.Southerland’s first-half damage proved to be too much for the Panthers to overcome, and the Orange was able to close out the Big East chapter of the Syracuse-Pittsburgh rivalry with a Big East tournament victory.“We just had great ball movement,” head coach Jim Boeheim said after the game. “Got the open guys, and James just got good looks and he made them.”— Compiled by Phil D’Abbraccio, asst. copy editor, Comments Published on January 17, 2014 at 4:12 amlast_img

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