No. 9 Syracuse drops third in a row
Pirates crush Orange 90-68, sending 'Cuse into tailspin
The Associated Press
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Jeremy Hazell led a long-range Seton Hall barrage with 28 points and the suddenly hot-shooting Pirates stunned No. 9 Syracuse 90-68 on Tuesday night, the Orange's third consecutive loss.
Syracuse (18-3, 5-3 Big East) had lost two in a row to top 10 conference foes, on the road at Pittsburgh a week ago and on Saturday at home to Villanova before a crowd of 33,736. In both games the Orange fell behind early -- Pittsburgh scored the first 19 points of the game and Villanova hit eight 3-pointers in the first half.
That trend continued against Seton Hall (9-12, 3-6), which had lost three in a row. The Pirates torched Syracuse's zone defense for seven 3s in the first half, four by Hazell, and built a 13-point halftime lead.
Seton Hall, the worst shooting team in the Big East, finished 10 of 17 from beyond the arc and shot 54.1 percent for the game while holding Syracuse to 5 of 21 from long range and a season-low 36.1 percent from the field.
Jordan Theodore had 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting for the Pirates while Fuquan Edwin had 13 points, Jeff Robinson 12 and Herb Pope 10.
Kris Joseph led Syracuse with 17 points, all but one coming long after the game was decided, and Rick Jackson had 12 points and 11 rebounds, his 14th double-double of the season. Scoop Jardine and Brandon Triche each had 11 points.
After their first meeting 17 days ago, a sloppy 61-56 Syracuse victory, Orange coach Jim Boeheim winced at the stat sheet. The Pirates missed all 17 3-point attempts in the first half.
It was a much different story on Tuesday, and Boeheim was wincing again. Seton Hall hit its first three from beyond the arc, two by Hazell, and led 26-15 on Theodore's 3 from the right wing with 12:07 left.
And they weren't through. In the final 6 minutes of the half, Seton Hall slowed the pace to a crawl and the strategy paid big dividends. Hazell drained two 3s from the wing, the second at the shot clock buzzer, and Theodore followed with another - all three in a span of less than 2 minutes - to put the Pirates up 37-23 with 3:49 left.
The Orange missed their first six 3s, three by James Southerland, before Mookie Jones, playing for the first time since last month, hit from the wing with 2:02 left.
The Pirates extended the lead to 50-30 on Hazell's steal and layup early in the second half as Syracuse missed its first six shots before Jardine finally hit a 3 from the wing at 15:31, the Orange's second in 11 tries from beyond the arc.
Joseph, the Orange's leading scorer, missed all four shots in the first half and didn't get his first basket of the game until he hit a 3 from the left corner with 8:32 left. By then Syracuse trailed 63-46.
In its first two losses, Syracuse rallied both times, scoring 17 consecutives points against Pitt and pulling within four points of Villanova in the closing minutes after trailing by as many as 14. There was no rally against Seton Hall, which never allowed the Orange to get closer than 17 in the second half as the Orange faithful began leaving early, a rarity in the Carrier Dome.
Southerland made his second career start for Syracuse as Boeheim elected not to insert 7-foot freshman Fab Melo into the starting lineup for the first time this season. Southerland, who started at Pitt last week and had eight points, four assists, and two blocks in 38 minutes, finished with four points.