Lauren Murphy | Staff PhotographerMen's Basketball
Southerland slow to heat up post-ineligibility, still a factor in win at Seton Hall
NEWARK, N.J. –James Southerland knocked down three 3-pointers. But he missed his first three attempts. In his third game back following his ineligibility, Southerland is still not shooting fluidly from the floor.
Southerland finished the game with 11 points on 4-of-12 shooting, and hit three of his nine 3-point attempts in 35 minutes on the floor in Syracuse’s 76-65 win over Seton Hall on Saturday. After the game, head coach Jim Boeheim said Southerland’s still working his way back from the time away from game action.
“James hit a couple 3s, but he’s still trying to get his legs back,” Boeheim said. “He needs some more games.”
Southerland subbed in for C.J. Fair five minutes into the game. Less than a minute later, he chucked up a 3-point attempt from the left corner that clanked off the rim. He made up for it with a nice steal from SHU guard Brandon Mobley that set up an alley-oop from Brandon Triche to Michael Carter-Williams.
Southerland hit his first 3-pointer with under five minutes left in the first half, and then he hit another from the top of the key at the end of the half that gave Syracuse a 36-30 lead going into halftime.
He hit his third 3 about seven minutes into the second half, and that gave the Orange a comfortable nine-point lead at 51-42.
Southerland was needed in a game like this, Boeheim said after the game. Against Seton Hall’s zone, Southerland drew the defense out, especially once he started knocking down 3s. And that opened up scoring opportunities on the inside.
Jerami Grant started at small forward – as he has since Feb. 2 – but only played seven minutes. As the game progressed, Southerland became an increasingly dangerous shooting threat that Seton Hall had to account for.
“I think even though James didn’t shoot great, his presence out there is important,” Boeheim said. “He takes a defender out there and stays with him, and opens up driving lanes. He’s important for us against zone defenses.
“If we’re playing all zone, we want to keep him in the game.”
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