East region: Syracuse's zone frustrates Crabbe, Cal most of night

2013-03-24T00:00:00Z East region: Syracuse's zone frustrates Crabbe, Cal most of nightThe Associated Press The Associated Press
March 24, 2013 12:00 am  • 

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Syracuse overcame poor shooting and a partisan crowd to earn a return trip to the round of 16.

C.J. Fair scored 18 points, James Southerland added 14 and the fourth-seeded Orange survived a second-half drought of more than 12 minutes without a field goal to beat No. 12 seed California 66-60 on Saturday night in the NCAA tournament.

Syracuse (28-9) frustrated the Golden Bears with its zone defense to overcome a dismal shooting night when it made just 39 percent of its shots and missed 15 of 41 free throws. It still sent the Orange to Washington, D.C., for the East Regional, where they will play Thursday against the winner of today's game between top-seeded Indiana and Temple.

Richard Solomon scored 22 points for Cal (21-12), which was trying to make it to the round of 16 for the first time in 16 years and just the third time since 1960.

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim earned his 50th career NCAA tournament win as the Orange reached the regional semifinals for the fourth time in five years.

The teams combined for just three made baskets in the first 10:50 of the second half and Syracuse went almost six minutes without even taking a shot as Cal committed seven shooting fouls in the opening 6:02. The Orange hit eight of those 14 free throws to extend their lead to 42-30, but went 12:13 without making a basket from the field.

As frustrated as the Bears and their fans were with the lopsided foul count, Syracuse's 2-3 zone defense was even more confounding.

Pac-12 Player of the Year Allen Crabbe, held to eight points, found no room to get off a shot, even when he caught the ball 25 feet from the basket.

Point guard Justin Cobbs, limited to five points, also struggled against the zone. And when Cal got the ball inside, Rakeem Christmas and Baye Moussa Keita were there to block or alter shots.

Cal cut a 14-point lead down to seven with less than five minutes to go, but Southerland and Michael Carter-Williams answered with tough shots.

• Marquette 74, Butler 72: In Lexington, Ky., Vander Blue scored 19 of his 29 points in the second half to rally third-seeded Marquette out of another hole.

"I know everybody in our team, we weren't ready to go home," said Blue, who had the winning shot against Davidson on Thursday.

Like November's first meeting between the teams at the Maui Invitational, won 72-71 by Butler on Rotnei Clarke's buzzer-beating three-pointer, this was a back-and-forth, high-intensity affair that came down to the final shot. Only this time, Butler missed.

Marquette (25-8) will meet the winner of today's game between Illinois and Miami (Fla.) on Thursday in the East Regional semifinals at Washington, D.C.

After Jamil Wilson's two free throws made it 71-69, Davante Gardner deflected Clarke's pass intended for Kellen Dunham underneath and then made the first of three late free throws for 74-70 lead with 4.7 seconds left.

After Wilson's goaltend on what would have been a layup by Andrew Smith cut the lead to two 2 seconds later, Blue almost became the goat by throwing away the inbounds pass intended for Wilson with 2.9 seconds left.

No. 6 Butler (28-9), used to winining close games at this time of year, couldn't get a good last look. Smith took an off-balance three from up top that was way off, setting off another Marquette celebration.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Activate

Latest Video

More videos

State House LD2 candidate: Chris Ackerley

Chris Ackerley discusses voter concerns, including education.



Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Deals, offers & events

View more...

$15.99 Oil Change Special!

K&D Quality Auto is offering $15.99 conventional 10w30 oi…