MBB : Triche scores 15 in 2nd half to lead SU to win over Red Storm

first_img Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 9, 2011 at 12:00 pmcenter_img NEW YORK — Brandon Triche didn’t mind being somewhat of an afterthought. The play of teammate Fab Melo was the story of the game. Rick Jackson, Kris Joseph and Scoop Jardine were playing in their first game after receiving Big East accolades earlier this week.But in Syracuse’s 79-73 win over St. John’s in the Big East tournament quarterfinals Thursday, Triche answered the bell down the stretch when Syracuse needed it most. Take it from Joseph.‘When Brandon shoots the ball like that, our offense is that much better,’ the junior forward Joseph said. ‘He got us going in the second half and everybody really caught on.’Triche didn’t appear to have that second-half flair Joseph talked about during the first half Thursday. But after shooting just 1-for-7 from the field before the intermission, something clicked for the sophomore guard. He began the half by connecting on his first three shots — two of which were 3-pointers — and finished with a game- and season-high 22 points.If that wasn’t enough, he iced four free throws in the final 18 seconds to secure Syracuse’s close victory.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘Once I knew that the team needed me to be aggressive and score points, I went into attack mode,’ Triche said. ‘I knew if I could keep being aggressive it would help the team win.’Apparently unfazed by his first-half performance, Triche stepped onto the court in the second half and, without hesitation, began firing away at will. He nailed his first 3 of the half on SU’s first possession, just nine seconds into the second half. A few minutes later, he drilled back-to-back jumpers, leading the Orange on a 20-8 run during a six-minute stretch.Jardine wasn’t surprised. He’s seen Triche go off at opportune times this season. Twenty-one points at Louisville. Twenty against West Virginia. Seventeen against Rutgers. Now, Triche provided 22 against St. John’s to help the Orange advance to the Big East semifinals.He finished a modest 5-for-13 from the field, but he found ways to score or make a pass which led to important points down the stretch. He compiled four second-half assists while turning the ball over just once.‘Brandon has stepped up his shooting and given us somebody to go to that we didn’t have, I don’t think, early in the season,’ Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said.St. John’s didn’t go away quietly. But each time they made a run, Syracuse seemed to find an answer. When it did, Triche was usually a part of it. His 15 second-half points were more than any other member of the Orange had for the entire game.And with Syracuse trying to put the Red Storm away in the waning moments, Triche secured the win. With his final free throw, Triche set the program record for consecutive made with 37.‘Last year, I shot like 60 percent at the free-throw line,’ Triche said. ‘So it means a lot to me that I can be that guy who the team looks to when it comes to closing teams out.’With Syracuse’s win streak now at six games and the Orange playing as well as it has all season, games like this from Triche may be viewed as a luxury. They made be overlooked, too, if SU’s more recognizable names are playing well.But in the midst of an impressive streak, Triche is quickly becoming SU’s closer. And that was perhaps never more evident than Thursday afternoon.‘I just wanted to stay aggressive,’ Triche said. ‘People have to pay attention to me, and I knew that hitting some open shots would help the team out a lot.’[email protected]last_img read more