MBB : PARTY OF TWO: Joseph, Triche help SU snap 2-game losing streak against West Virginia

first_img Published on February 13, 2011 at 12:00 pm Comments Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Seconds after storming off from his vehement 13-minute press conference, Jim Boeheim set up a foundation in the corner of the Syracuse locker room. After SU’s much-needed 63-52 win over West Virginia, Boeheim bolted to where his two most impassioned performers from the victory were located.Flanking Boeheim were Brandon Triche and Kris Joseph. The Orange wings were fresh off physically and mentally willing their team to victory, combining for 36 points.But after the near-perfect performance from Triche and an energetic game from Joseph, Boeheim sequestered Joseph for more feedback. To chip away at parts of his game still absent from Monday’s effort.Without those parts from Joseph, his energy and Triche’s strong play willed Syracuse to the win. With them, the Orange will eventually be right where Boeheim wants the team to be.‘The last game Brandon found it, and tonight it continued along that way,’ Boeheim said. ‘Kris is a key offensive guy for us. I don’t think he is playing to his potential yet. I think he is still — I don’t know what it is. I am not sure what it is. He is close. But he needs to play better for us.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBetter would trump their effort Monday, which prevented the Orange from losing four consecutive home games for the first time since 1962. They combined to shoot 54.5 percent from the field, their best percentage in 11 games.From the tip, Triche attacked a gritty West Virginia team. Six seconds after WVU’s Kevin Jones missed the first shot of the game, Triche flew down the court. He said he saw a Mountaineer defender back off and immediately entered his comfort zone: behind the 3-point line.Triche nailed the first three points of the game. Twenty-one seconds in, he fulfilled the role Boeheim wants from him. The role he didn’t fill when struggling to score in first halves all season: scorer.‘Being comfortable out there, that got me in a rhythm,’ Triche said. ‘My coaches have been telling me to start early, give us a lift.’A lift is exactly what Triche brought, as 17 more points on 7-of-12 overall shooting followed. The mentality carried over to defense as well.WVU’s Casey Mitchell proved to be another scorching first-half shooter against the Orange. Mitchell came off the bench to inject a feeling of ‘here we go again’ into the Carrier Dome crowd. Mitchell led the Mountaineers — who were only shooting 32 percent from deep on the year — to a 7-of-13 mark from behind the line in the first half, as well as a four-point lead.In the second half, though, the tide turned. Mitchell stayed hot, finishing with 23 points, but the rest of the Mountaineers failed to make a single 3.And then Joseph’s nine second-half points helped SU reclaim the lead from WVU. He hauled in five rebounds, attacked to earn trips to the line and shot 50 percent from the field. But he lapsed twice in defending Mitchell.Boeheim said he and his players realized that once the Mountaineers trailed, they would only look for Mitchell to bring them back with deep bombs. And after Joseph slipped up twice in the middle of the second half, Boeheim reamed into him.‘They were waiting the whole shot clock so (Mitchell) could find a place,’ Boeheim said. ‘Sometimes he moves around, Kris forgot and missed him in the corner.’So Boeheim chastised Joseph. First with diatribe: ‘Kris, don’t you see him coming?’ Then with a march to half court to meet with Joseph during a timeout. Joseph stared at his coach with little emotion both times. He knew he faltered after playing so well with Triche. But from there, he clamped down.‘The key was for Brandon and Kris on the defensive ends,’ SU point guard Scoop Jardine said.With his active defense late in the game, Triche made the plays Boeheim said Syracuse hadn’t been making. And after his shutting down of Mitchell, Joseph also made a play SU hadn’t been making.It was the play to seal the game. Was the emphatic dunk and punching of the ball to give SU a 61-52 lead with 3:35 left an exclamation point? A relief of frustration? Or maybe it was a launching point.Said Joseph: ‘(It was) adrenaline. It was a big play at that time.’[email protected]last_img

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