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Orange defense cages Grizzlies in NCAA tourney

By MIKE LEVIN

SAN JOSE – Without trailing once throughout the entire contest, fourth-seeded Syracuse (26-9) cruised past No. 13 Montana (25-6), 81-34, in the second round of the 2013 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif.

The Orange victory improves head coach Jim Boeheim's all-time record to 25-5 in NCAA Tournament first-round games. SU will advance to the next round of the tourney to face No. 12 California on Saturday.  That game will tip off around 6:40 p.m., thirty minutes after the conclusion of Oregon-St. Louis, which begins at 4:10.

Senior Brandon Triche led the offense with 20 points, moving him into 19th on the SU all-time scoring list, passing Jason Hart and Dennis DuVal. Junior C.J. Fair recorded his 29th game with double-digit scoring, totaling 13 points.

The Orange opened the contest on a 20-4 run, capped off by a dunk from Christmas and then never looked back. Fair led the team during the streak with eight points, while senior James Southerland posted four.

Syracuse didn't allow the Grizzlies to break double digit scoring as the Orange stretched its advantage to as much as 15 points at 23-8 with 9:56 remaining in the opening half. Spencer Coleman netted the Montana's first three-pointer of the evening to set the score at 23-11.

Leading by 19 points at 30-11, Triche scored eight consecutive points to conclude the last five minutes of the opening frame. The Orange entered the intermission ahead by 23 points at 35-15, which marks the fewest amount of first-half points SU has allowed an opponent all season.

Helped out by a 27-5 run in the second half, the Orange advantage soared as high as 42 points. Coleman secured Syracuse's largest lead of the game, converting on a slam to lift SU up by 48 points with 5:30 remaining in the game.

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