Fair propels Orange offense, pushes team past Florida State in 2nd half

first_imgTALLAHASSEE, Fla. — One by one, C.J. Fair’s shots fell through the net to start the second half.Fair hit five consecutive shots to help the Orange pull away from Florida State. He nailed jumpers from a multitude of angles as SU’s lead swelled.He finished with a game-high 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting, also snagging seven rebounds and four steals. On a night where Syracuse shot the ball extremely well from the field, Fair was the most reliable option, as he has been most of the season. His second-half rampage propelled the No. 7 Orange (27-4, 14-4 Atlantic Coast) to a 74-58 win over Florida State (18-12, 9-9) on Sunday.“We saw right away he got it going,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. “He had the hot hand. I thought this was his best offensive game since Duke.”Fair said Boeheim ran many plays to get him the ball. With a defender right in his chops, Fair jab-stepped to create space. He rose up and unleashed a jumper, watching as the ball soared through the net.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHe nailed three more jump shots and added a bucket inside, scoring 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting in the first six minutes of the second frame.“C.J.’s just one of those players that we look to in the second half to pull us away,” SU forward Jerami Grant said. “I feel like he did that today.”Michael Gbinije said that when Fair’s cooking from the field, it opens up the entire paint. Fair’s man can’t help, which creates driving lines, Gbinije added.When Fair’s playing at such a high level, Syracuse becomes that much tougher to guard.He’s been SU’s most consistent option all season and was recently named one of 15 finalists for the John R. Wooden Player of the Year award given to the country’s best player. Fair has been dominant for most of the year, but Sunday was the first time since Duke came to the Carrier Dome that that’s been the case.Defenders tried to drape him. They knew what was coming. Some crafty footwork. A hesitation move. A quick release. But they couldn’t stop it.“I think we found C.J. in C.J.’s spots,” guard Trevor Cooney said, “where he’s comfortable and can get it and go and not have to force a lot of things, which is great.”With the game out of reach and Syracuse up by 13 with less than a minute to go, Fair gave Florida State a final glimpse of the dominance it had been subjected to all afternoon.He caught a pass from Rakeem Christmas in the corner, stopped and drained a 3, holding his follow-through for a few seconds before jogging downcourt.“To see the ball go in,” Fair said with a smile, “you get a little rhythm from there.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on March 9, 2014 at 8:56 pm Contact Trevor: [email protected] | @TrevorHasslast_img

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