MBB : SECOND-HALF KID: Triche ignites offense after half, SU squeaks by Seton Hall to stay perfect

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 7, 2011 at 12:00 pm Commentscenter_img NEWARK, N.J. — Jim Boeheim didn’t sugarcoat his Syracuse team’s latest escape from an inferior opponent in Seton Hall.But in a poor offensive showing that resembled SU’s early-season offensive struggles, there was one outlier — Brandon Triche.Triche scored 15 second-half points and made his first five shots from the field out of the break. It was a coming out party for the sophomore guard as the No. 4 Orange (16-0, 3-0 Big East) hung on for a close 61-56 win over Seton Hall (7-9, 1-3) in front of 10,862 inside the Prudential Center. SU thwarted a furious Pirates comeback attempt from a once double-digit deficit to close out the victory.‘It could have been really close,’ Boeheim said. ‘If Brandon hadn’t hit those 3s, it would have been more than close.’Triche’s second half was a departure from the all-around sloppiness of the first, as SU went into the break with only a one-point lead at 20-19. The 20 points marked Syracuse’s lowest first-half total of the season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe Orange scored five points on its first two possessions but only managed four in the next eight minutes. SU’s guard trio of Triche, Scoop Jardine and Dion Waiters combined for eight turnovers to just four assists for the game.‘In a long time,’ SU forward Kris Joseph said when asked if this showing was the Orange’s worst offensive performance of the season. ‘This is the worst we’ve played in a long time.’But SU’s stingy 2-3 zone combined with Seton Hall’s inability to hit open jumpers still meant the Orange took a lead into halftime. The Pirates shot 0-for-17 from beyond the arc in the first half.At the end of the first half, Triche typified SU’s half with an errant pass straight to SHU’s Eniel Polynice. He had no buckets and two turnovers, and as a result split time with Waiters. SU shot 30.4 percent from the field in the half. Seton Hall was even worse, at 22.9 percent.‘I didn’t even know the score was 20-19,’ Triche said. ‘That’s how crazy it was. But, the score tells everything. … But the second half, we definitely picked it up.’Triche led that change in offensive success, scoring eight of SU’s first 11 points. His first 3 broke an early second-half tie, and his steal and layup increased the Orange’s lead to five.And after his second 3-pointer of the half from the right side and the subsequent show of emotion that followed, he sensed something clicking.‘Just to hit a shot, my confidence raises,’ Triche said. ‘Just one shot.’Triche helped Syracuse increase its lead to double-digits. And as Seton Hall crept back and cut the deficit to five, Triche again was the go-to man, this time in the right corner.Jardine delivered a smooth cross-court pass to Triche, who hit the shot despite getting fouled by SHU’s Jamel Jackson. He lay in the right corner, in front of an SU bench that would soon mob him. With that 3, Triche ensured SU scored more points in the first 8:17 of the second half than it did the entire first.‘I just said to myself, ‘I’m going to shoot,” Triche said. ‘First half, I shot one shot. Second half, I said when I’m open — even when I’m not open — I’m going to look at the basket and try to put the shot up there. And the first four shots went down and helped us out.’But Triche bunched all 15 of his points into that first 8:17. So while SU’s relative offensive struggles emerged without Triche contributing, the Pirates continued to mount offensive runs that brought them closer.The last was a 13-1 run that brought SHU within one. The Orange went 0-for-2 and had two turnovers in that span, finding itself up just 54-53. Led by two key late drives to the basket from Jardine, SU closed out with a 7-3 run and held on.Syracuse is now 7-0 in games decided by five points or fewer. But to Boeheim, it’s playing with fire. And this type of offensive performance won’t fly as his team gets to the brunt of a brutal conference schedule — not even with the ‘bright spot’ Triche.‘Tonight, we were just really bad,’ Boeheim said. ‘Brandon got us up a little bit and we got two or three layups at the end, but our offense was just terrible.’[email protected]last_img

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