Junior forward James Southerland scored 13 of his game-best 15 points in the second half to help the Syracuse Orange survive their second-round NCAA Tournament game with a 72-65 victory over UNC-Asheville Bulldogs. The Orange, the No. 1 seed in the East region bracket, advance to play No. 8 Kansas St. Wildcats in the Round of 32 on Saturday.
Despite a come-from-behind effort in the second half, Syracuse trailed 34-30 at the break, the Orange seemingly escaped an unbelievable upset by the Bulldogs, with the help of the referees which missed a few calls down the stretch, the most controversial being a lane-violation call on a free-throw attempt with 1:20 remaining and Syracuse leading 63-58.
The call went against UNC-Asheville and allowed Syracuse senior point guard Scoop Jardine another shot a 1-and-1 opportunity at the line, which he proceeded to make both to extend SU's advantage to 64-58.
The Bulldogs trimmed the margin to 64-60 with two free throws from senior guard J.P. Primm, and looked to have gotten the ball back when an inbound pass seemed to have deflected off junior guard Brandon Triche, however, the call went in favor of Syracuse.
From there, Syracuse would cemented the win going 6-for-7 from the free throw line. Sophomore guard Dion Waiter and senior forward Kris Joseph each tallied 12 points, while senior point guard Scoop Jardine had 11 points and seven assists.
UNC-Asheville's Primm finished with a game-best 18 points, while junior guard netted 16 points. The Bulldogs also finished 14-for-16 from the free throw line and took an early first-half lead thanks to seven 3-pointers. Overall, UNC-Asheville went 9-for-23 from behind the 3-point arc.
For a breakdown of Syracuse vs. UNC-Asheville ending, check back to this SB Nation New York StoryStream.