Southerland regains form from perimeter, boosts Syracuse’s defense in low post in win over Canisius

first_imgWith the same size, length and speed that’s overwhelmed nearly all of Syracuse’s opponents this season, the Orange dominated Canisius in the second half Saturday night, outscoring the Golden Griffins by 21.And at the center of SU’s resurgence was the return of a familiar hero: James Southerland.“He took some time off after Arkansas to do some other things and I think he realized that we’d like him to make some 3s too,” head coach Jim Boeheim said.After Southerland’s game-saving 9-of-13 3-point performance in SU’s truest test of the season against Arkansas Nov. 30, the senior forward went cold. He was a combined 0-for-10 in the Orange’s last three games and his teammates had to go elsewhere for range, with Trevor Cooney – 10-of-22 in that span – largely picking up the slack. But on Saturday, Southerland bounced back to lead No. 4 Syracuse (9-0) with 21 points in its 85-61 win.Cooney never found a rhythm against Canisius (6-2), missing his first two shots before getting pulled by Boeheim four minutes after entering the game. Like the rest of his teammates, Southerland’s first half was much quieter than his second, but his 21-point explosion was central to collapsing CC’s resolve.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“When our team needs a basket I feel confident in myself,” Southerland said. “When my team needs a basket I’m going to hit a shot for them.”Southerland came off the bench and started the second half, quickly repaying Boeheim’s trust by snaring the Orange’s first defensive board of the half just 33 seconds in. Less than a minute later he hit a backbreaking 3 to put SU up 41-32.Canisius head coach Jim Baron said his team was on the verge of getting “over the hump” at the start of the second half after briefly holding a lead in the final minutes of the first.“I thought if we had a couple more shots we would’ve been right in there,” Baron said.Instead, Southerland came up with the clutch points that swung momentum permanently in the Orange’s favor. Though less noticeable on the stat sheet, Southerland also helped correct SU’s largest shortcoming on the night: rebounding.And in a game in which Boeheim’s team struggled to assert its dominance on the boards it was Southerland, not the 6-foot-9, 288-pound DaJuan Coleman, sent in to change the game. The veteran forward finished with five boards.Ultimately it was Southerland’s scoring that broke the game open, leaving the head coach little choice.“James just gives us so much of a threat on offense that it’s hard to – we’re going to keep him out there for long periods of time,” Boeheim said.It was a very short period of time, though, that Southerland points to as the moment he knew his persistent opponents had finally run out of gas. SU went from leading by a comfortable-yet-competitive 14 points to physically running CC off the court. The Orange extended its lead to 21 on four consecutive baskets spanning close to two minutes.In that time, Southerland snagged another defensive board, buried a 3 and hammered home an emphatic dunk—five points and a rebound in 40 seconds. Canisius had no answer.“I was just glad I was able to contribute when my team needed it the most,” Southerland said.The run ended with Southerland making way for Baye Moussa Keita as well as Cooney and Jerami Grant. The game was effectively over, and Southerland’s two-week shooting slump was forgotten.“I just think it’s because I have ADD, so I kind of forget about the shot I took. I forget about all the shots I took,” he said. “I forgot about the ones I’ve made.”As Boeheim closed out an at-times tense post-game press conference he smiled, reflecting on Southerland’s return to form.“So he slipped out a little bit, but obviously he’s better,” Boeheim said. “… Shooters are never good all the time.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 16, 2012 at 1:23 am Contact Jacob: [email protected] | @Jacob_Klinger_center_img Related Stories THE BETTER HALF: Syracuse scores 50 points in second half to overcome early struggles in 85-61 win over Canisiuslast_img

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