#8 Syracuse beats California, advances to Maui Invitational Championship
You might as well call it Maui Square Garden.
While the Lahaina Civic Center may be nearly 5,000 miles away from Syracuse or its home away from the Carrier Dome Madison Square Garden the Orange seems pretty comfortable in Hawaii.
The Orange beat California 92-81 in the 2013 Maui Invitational Semifinals, and improved to 8-0 all time in Maui.
Syracuse, for the second night in a row, used a second half surge to outlast its opponent.
SU and Cal were tied at 41 at the halftime break before the Orange exploded for 51 second half points.
"I thought they (California) battled their tails off, and it took a long time for us to get a solid run out of the offensive end. Those were unbelievable today. I didn't even know how good until I looked at the stat sheet. I knew they were pretty good, but they were better it was a really good battle. These two games out here have been great games" Jim Boeheim (926 wins) said.
That second half explosion started with Tyler Ennis who finished with a career high 28 points en route to the 11 point win.
"He's a very talented point guard. His head's always up his eyes are up, and he's going to come down and make the right play no matter what it is. Whether it's a kickout or a lob to one of the big guys or just giving the ball to C.J., that's what he's going to do, and that's what he's done the whole year" said Trevor Cooney about Ennis' performance
Cooney played very well too, scoring 23 points and the Orange earned huge contributions from Jerami Grant who also netted a career high with 19 points.
Senior leader C.J. Fair scored 14 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.
With the win Syracuse advances to the Maui Invitational Championship game, that's set for a 10 p.m. tip off on Wednesday night. Should SU win, it'd be the Orange's 3rd Maui Invitational Championship in three tries.