New York, NY – James Southerland was lights-out from beyond the arc and No. 19 Syracuse snapped out of its funk with a strong second half to down Seton Hall, 75-63, in second-round play of the Big East Tournament.
Syracuse (24-8) had dropped four of its final five regular-season contests, but Southerland tallied 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting from 3-point range to get the fifth-seeded Orange back on track and set up a quarterfinals matchup with fourth-seeded Pittsburgh on Thursday.
C.J. Fair had 14 of his 16 points over the final 20 minutes for Syracuse, while Brandon Triche donated 17 points and Michael Carter-Williams facilitated the offense with 14 assists in the victory.
The Pirates (15-18) jumped out to an early lead, but struggled to keep pace in the second half. Aaron Cosby scored a game-high 22 points, Eugene Teague added 13 and Fuquan Edwin finished with 11 points in defeat.
"I'm looking forward to being with these guys again and not having to deal with what we've had to deal with all year long," said head coach Kevin Willard of Seton Hall's injury-plagued season. "They're looking forward to not going into every game and wondering who's going to play power forward, who's going to play small forward now."
The Orange got out to a slow start, but rallied to tie the score at 34-34 by the break after Southerland's fifth triple sparked a 9-2 push to close out the half.
Syracuse carried the momentum out of the locker room and ran away with the contest following a 21-4 run. Fair scored eight points during the surge and bookended it with a pair of jumpers, staking the Orange to a 67-50 lead that all but sealed the victory.
"Even though we got down, we made smart plays and moved the ball, and we didn't try to rush anything when we were down," Southerland said. "We did a great job in the first half of hanging in there, and the second half just took control."
Edwin and Cosby were the only scorers for the Pirates through the initial 18 1/2 minutes of the second half, with the duo combining for 24 of Seton Hall's 29 points.
The Pirates got out to a fast start, leading 16-6 following Kyle Smyth's third 3-pointer in the first six-plus minutes of the contest.
They kept a 10-point advantage following an 8-0 surge midway through the period, but after the Orange tied the game by halftime, Seton Hall never led again.
A pair of free throws from Cosby tied the contest at 46-46 prior to Syracuse's decisive run.
The Orange shot 56.3 percent from the field, including 9-for-15 from long distance ... The Pirates were 10-for-20 from 3-point range ... Syracuse outrebounded Seton Hall, 29-18.