C.J. Fair had 18 points and James Southerland chipped in 14 more as the Syracuse Orange took care of the California Golden Bears comfortably, 66-60, Saturday evening in the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament.
With the win, Syracuse advanced to the Sweet 16 for the second-straight year and will next face either Indiana or Temple.
In this one, the Orange took the lead for good less than two minutes into the game on a three from Brandon Triche. That started an 11-0 run that set the tone for the rest of the game. The Orange closed the first half with an eight-point lead and managed to hold on in the second half.
Syracuse scored on a James Southerland dunk 30 seconds into the second half and did not make another field goal until Michael Carter-Williams scored with 7:20 left. But the Orange did make 11 free-throws in that span to retain the lead.
Of course it helped that Cal struggled mightily from the field all day. For the game, the Golden Bears were 22-56 and 4-21 from three-point range. Richard Solomon had 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead Cal, while Tyrone Wallace had 12 points and was the only other Golden Bear in double figures
The Golden Bears did try to stage a furious comeback in the final minutes. Allen Crabbe and Wallace hit consecutive threes to close the gap to seven, but a pair of unforced turnovers kept the Orange in front. The second turnover, an offensive foul on Justin Cobbs, resulted in a dunk on the other end from Baye Keita to seal the game.