The No. 4 Syracuse Orange dodged a bullet Saturday and have sophomore guard Brandon Triche to thank for that.
The Orange played easily their worst game of the 2010-'11 season but used 15 second-half points from Triche to edge the Seton Hall Pirates, 61-56, on the road.
Currently, Syracuse (16-0, 3-0 Big East) remains one of seven teams in the nation that remain undefeated.
Triche's 15 points all came in the first eight minutes of the second half and helped SU, which led 20-19 at halftime, take a 50-40 advantage by the eight-minute media timeout.
It seemed as if SU was going to win the game running away. However, the Pirates (7-9, 1-3) used a 13-1 run to pull within two points, 55-53, with 2:20 to go in the game. But that's as close as SHU would get.
The Pirates undoing was their dreadful shooting, which finished 21 of 67 (31.3 percent) from the floor and 3-for-26 from 3-point range (11.5). SHU went 0-for-17 from 3-point land in the first half.
Seton Hall forward Herb Pope, who played with four fouls throughout a majority of the second half, was a big part of the SHU rally. Pope finished with 14 points and a game-best 20 rebounds.
Teammate Jeff Robinson netted a team-best 17 points.
Syracuse, which shot 7-for-23 from the floor in the first half, looked awful in the game's first 20 minutes.
But behind Triche, SU jumped out to a 41-33 advantage in the second half's first six and a half minutes.
Late in the game, guard Scoop Jardine helped the Orange escape with the victory.
Jardine, who had a terrible first half -- which included three turnovers, one assist and just two points -- rebounded by scoring five points in the last four minutes of the contest. Jardine finished with 12 points and three assists.
Kris Joseph also scored 15 points and added eight rebounds. Teammate Rick Jackson. who finished with nine points and a team-best 14 rebounds, just missed another double-double.
|Final - 1.8.2011||1||2||Total|
|Seton Hall Pirates||19||37||56|
On Wednesday, Syracuse will travel to Madison Square Garden to take on the St. John's Red Storm (10-3, 3-0). Seton Hall travels to the DePaul Blue Demons (6-9, 0-3).
Would like to talk SU hoops? E-mail: JaredSmith16@gmail.com. Twitter: Jared_E_Smith.