Syracuse on to Final Four, beats Marquette 55-39
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A solid defensive performance propelled fourth-seeded Syracuse (30-9) in its victory over No.3 seed Marquette (26-9), 55-39, in the Elite Eight of the 2013 Men's Basketball Tournament. The stifling Orange defense held the Golden Eagles to 23 percent from the field and 12 percent from three-point range, leading SU to its fifth appearance in the Final Four. Syracuse will travel to Atlanta, Ga. to compete for the title on April 6 and 8. Fans can purchase tickets by clicking here. "I just really can't say enough about how good these guys played on the defensive end of the court," said head coach Jim Boeheim." " They were just tremendous – we gave Marquette 74 points four or five weeks ago." Senior James Southerland led the offense with 16 points, while sophomore Michael Carter-Williams tallied a double-double with 12 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. Carter-Williams was also named the East Regional Tournament MVP for his efforts this weekend. Syracuse rebounded from and early three-point deficit with seven unanswered points, capped off by a dunk from Fair, that pulled SU on top by four at 7-3. DaVante Gardener answered with a layup to keep the score within two, but the Orange followed with an 8-1 run for a nine-point lead, 15-6, with 10:06 remaining in the opening frame. Southerland and senior Brandon Triche each posted their first three ball of the night during the stretch. SU took its largest lead of the half at 7:51, following a bucket from Triche and a free throw from freshman Jerami Grant that lifted Syracuse ahead by as much as 12 points at 19-7. Marquette stormed back, using an 11-2 stretch to narrow the advantage to three points at 21-18 with 3:17 remaining in the first frame. Southerland halted the Golden Eagles attack with his second three-pointer of the evening, setting the score at 24-18 heading into the intermission. Following the break, MU continued chipping away at the Orange advantage, as Vander Blue connected on a layup and a free throw to put the Golden Eagles within four points of the lead at 25-21. Syracuse followed with a 15-7 run, led by six points from Fair to reclaim a double-digit lead at 41-28. The Golden Eagles trimmed the advantage back to nine points just once at 7:21, but SU tossed in the next six consecutive shots, for its largest lead of the game at 47-32 with less than five minutes remaining. Syracuse concluded the final two minutes of the contest on an 8-3 run, featuring three-pointers from Carter-Williams and Southerland to secure the 55-39 victory.