Sunday, March 24, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Syracuse 66, California 60
By Ted Miller
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Syracuse ended 12th-seeded California's hopes for another upset, 66-60, with suffocating defense in a methodical effort Saturday.
Overview: Cal jumped ahead 2-0, but that was it. The fourth-seeded Orange rolled up an early lead and maintained it throughout, with the Bears getting no closer than six points in the second half.
Turning point: The turning point was a time span: From 11:22 of the first half until 2:12 of the second, Cal's leading scorer Allen Crabbe didn't score a point. Crabbe, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, averaged 18.7 points per game this season. He finished Saturday with eight points on 3-of-9 shooting.
Key player: Syracuse senior forward James Southerland scored 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. He added two assists and four steals.
Key stat: Cal took more shots. The field goal percentages were virtually identical. The rebounding numbers were close to a push. Both teams made the same number of 3-pointers, though Cal needed 21 attempts to make four versus 10 for Syracuse. But the Orange had 18 second-chance points to 12 from Cal (21-12). Note that number and look at the score.
Next: Syracuse (28-9) will play the winner of Indiana's game Sunday against Temple in the Sweet 16 in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.