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Fair leads SU past St. John’s with 17 points in all-around performance

first_img Published on February 10, 2013 at 7:32 pm Contact Ryne: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+ Related Stories HE’S BACK: Southerland scores 13 in 1st game back as Syracuse defeats St. John’s 77-58center_img All alone, C.J. Fair caught the ball in the left corner and waited. The Syracuse forward had time to size up his first 3-point attempt of the game, which dropped smoothly through the basket moments later.The shot – the first field goal by either team – came in the first 71 seconds in the game, but it revealed to St. John’s that Fair could score from anywhere on the floor, something he put on display for the remaining 39 minutes of the matchup on Sunday.“I kind of felt my rhythm early,” Fair said. “I made a couple 3s and then after that, that kind of opened up the rest of my game. That’s why I was able to drive and make the midrange shot as well.”Fair scored in a variety of ways – from beyond the arc and on the offensive glass, on drives and midrange jump shots – en route a notching a team-high 17 points in the Orange’s (20-3, 8-2 Big East) 77-58 victory over the Red Storm (15-9, 7-5) in the Carrier Dome on Sunday. He was solid from start to finish, picking his spots within the offense and coming through to thwart a St. John’s comeback bid in the second half.“C.J. was terrific as always,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. “It was a good win.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFair’s open 3 from the corner to start the game got his adrenaline flowing. The confidence grew from there, as he skied for an offensive rebound and banked in the follow to extend an early SU lead to six.A midrange jumper from the left corner swished through the net just as his long-range attempt to get it started did. It showed off another part of his well-rounded game and gave Syracuse a comfortable 12-point lead with 8:41 to play in the first half.Then came his second 3.Again it came from the left corner. And again with an easy swish through the net. Only this time Fair exaggerated his follow-through, holding it up for his teammates and opponents to see before he trotted down the court with a smirk on his face.“I felt good because I knocked down my first few 3s,” Fair said. “The team kept leaving me open because I’m not really known as the 3-point threat I guess and for me to knock it down, them two shots got me going.”St. John’s scouting report changed after the break.The Red Storm was well aware of Fair’s ability to hit the open 3 and opted to challenge the forward when he caught the ball on the perimeter.And as Fair said, that only opened up the final weapon in his offensive arsenal.With St. John’s closing in on Syracuse, cutting its lead to five points less than nine minutes into the second half, Fair caught the ball in the left corner, behind the arc. He drove baseline, absorbing contact from Red Storm forward JaKarr Sampson with each step to the basket, and released a high-arcing shot beyond the reach of St. John’s 6-foot-9 shot-blocker Chris Obekpa.The ball bounced around the rim and dropped. Syracuse led by seven and the threat was over. The Orange’s lead would never dip below eight in the final 11 minutes.“C.J. was great,” point guard Michael Carter-Williams said. “He got to the hoop, made his free throws, the pull-up jumper was good – he just had an all-around game and that’s the type of player C.J. is.”The junior also paced SU with nine rebounds in a steady 39-minute performance that has come to be expected by Boeheim and Fair’s teammates.Syracuse guard Brandon Triche said he expects Fair’s scoring average to continue to climb down the stretch. And he was quick to point out the forward leads the team in rebounding while playing nearly 40 minutes every game.But Sunday, it was Fair’s contribution to the offense that stood out. His first 3 sparked a strong start by the Orange, his midrange jumpers kept St. John’s at arm’s length for much of the contest, and his tough drives sealed the game in the second half.His all-around game came to the forefront right when Syracuse needed it against St. John’s.“He’s our most complete or consistent player and he’s just bringing it every night,” Triche said. “That’s what we need.” Commentslast_img

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