Syracuse advances in rout of Montana
San Jose, CA – Syracuse's stellar showing in the Big Apple transitioned into its opener of the NCAA Tournament.
Brandon Triche had 20 points and five steals in the Orange's 81-34 rout of Montana in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Syracuse raced out to an early advantage and led by as many as 50 in its most lopsided tourney win since defeating Brown 101-52 in the first round of the 1986 NCAA Tournament.
C.J. Fair netted 13 points and Michael Carter-Williams continued his distribution of the basketball with nine assists for fourth-seeded Syracuse (27-9), which will play 12th-seeded California in the third round on Saturday.
Carter-Williams had 36 helpers during the Big East Tournament.
"It was just one of those games where they had a game where they couldn't do anything right and everything fell right for us," Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. "We played well in New York and we continued that tonight on both ends of the court.
The Orange dropped four of their last five regular season games before defeating Seton Hall, Pittsburgh and Georgetown en route to a championship game appearance in the Big East Tournament. Syracuse, though, blew a 16-point second-half lead against Louisville in the title game.
Montana (25-7), which made its third NCAA Tournament appearance in the last four years, have won just one tourney game since 1975 and dropped a 73-49 decision to Wisconsin in the second round last year.
The Orange stormed out of the gate and James Southerland, who set a Big East Tournament record with 18 3-pointers, nailed his only triple of the game to give Syracuse a 30-11 lead with 5:52 left in the opening half.
Syracuse took a 38-15 spread into the break and DaJuan Coleman's three-point play with 1:26 left gave the Orange their 50-point bulge, 81-31.
"We haven't seen that kind of length and athleticism all season long," Montana head coach Wayne Tinkle said.
Spencer Coleman, Kareem Jamar, Jordan Gregory and Jake Wiley had five points apiece to lead Montana in scoring ... The Grizzlies shot just 20.4 percent (11-of-54) from the field.