Fair, Southerland each chip in 20 points in victory over Providence
James Southerland stole the spotlight in the game’s biggest moment. His pair of 3-pointers excited the Carrier Dome crowd as they always do. His two dunks electrified Syracuse fans even more during a decisive 27-2 run in the first half.
Meanwhile, C.J. Fair, who has quietly scored in double figures in 16 straight games, did his best to match his teammate’s play. The lefty nailed a 3 of his own from the right corner, and added a thunderous dunk to keep the SU run rolling.
Southerland and Fair led all scorers with 20 points each in Syracuse’s 84-59 rout of Providence at the Dome on Wednesday night. The pair was efficient, shooting 13-for-18 combined from the field and 4-for-4 from 3-point range. The big performances from Syracuse’s 6-foot-8 forwards helped fuel the team’s first 25-point win since its Big East opener against Rutgers.
“I think this was the best offense that flowed since the Rutgers game,” Fair said.
Fair was the first of the two to get on the board, back when Syracuse was still trading leads with the Friars in the first five minutes of the game.
The forward received a screen from Rakeem Christmas on the right elbow, giving him just enough space to get down the left lane and flip a layup in off of the glass. He earned a trip to the foul line one minute later after getting Providence guard Josh Fortune up in the air with a bank shot.
Fair hit both to give Syracuse a 9-8 lead. Southerland hit his first field goal on a putback six minutes later to push the Orange ahead 16-12.
Then came the 27-2 run, highlighted by 12 points from Southerland. He circled around for a jumper from the left wing after Jerami Grant drew PC guard Vincent Council to the left baseline. Less than two minutes later, Southerland drilled a deep 3-pointer from the right wing to expand Syracuse’s advantage to 11.
“I did a good job of moving on the floor, even though I should have moved a lot more,” Southerland said. “My teammates did a good job of finding me, especially Mike that long 3 – Lord knows where I was on the court.”
Southerland tallied 14 points in the first half, while Fair finished with 11. Both would reach 20 points before the night was finished, powering SU’s biggest offensive outburst in Big East play.
“They’re two great players, they’re tough to stop,” Carter-Williams said. “Just getting them the ball and letting them play and get open shots is what makes our team successful.”
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