first_imgCHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – The same sound that ushers in each episode of SportsCenter echoed out from the middle of the visitor’s locker room at Conte Forum.Da-da-da. Da-da-da.But there was no television. The noise came from Jerami Grant and DaJuan Coleman. The Syracuse big men stood laughing, raving and imitating over Grant’s most recent highlight-reel play — an eye-grabbing putback slam that the sophomore forward made look routine.It not only earned the No. 2 spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 on Monday night, but capped a 16-3 second-half run that brought Syracuse back from the brink of its first loss this season.“It definitely just helped push us over the top,” Grant said. “I feel like after that, we already had the game.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textGrant’s flush was the cherry on top of a brilliant second-half performance that helped key the No. 2 Orange’s (17-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast) 69-59 win over Boston College (5-12, 1-3). He made all three of his shots from the field, as well as all five of his free throws, grabbed six rebounds and helped quench the Eagles’ red-hot shooters despite playing with four fouls for the last 10:09.Playing all 20 minutes of the second stanza, Grant bounced back from a shaky first half with the best performance of any SU frontcourt player.“Jerami, he’s a special type of talent,” senior forward C.J. Fair said. “He knows how to use his athleticism without being out of control. He knows when to pick his spots and he feeds off his rebounds.”But in the first half, Grant was unable to turn his rarely matched skills into points. He was blocked by BC forward Eddie Odio with 11:11 left in the first half, missed another layup two minutes later and bricked two dunks in the final 1:45 of the half.The second one caromed off the back of the rim and 20 feet into the air, before BC guard Lonnie Jackson went skyward to pull the ball out of orbit.“He had a bad first half,” SU head coach Jim Boeheim said.Grant entered halftime shooting 2-of-7, but wouldn’t miss again.After finding Tyler Ennis for an open 3-pointer on the wing to start the half and knocking down both free throws 1:45 into the frame, Grant picked up three fouls in a span of 6:41 — two on questionable block attempts and one that left Boeheim frozen, palms open and mouth slightly agape.“Definitely I thought it was a clean block, but at the same time you can’t argue with the refs,” Grant said. “That’s not going to help anything.”What did help was hitting the offensive glass.With the Orange down 51-46 at the 9:39 mark, Grant soared for an Ennis misfire and threw down a slam in traffic. And with 8:07 to play, Grant put back another Ennis miss to give the Orange its first lead since the beginning of the half.Fair said Grant’s awareness in the paint and ability to read deflections on the weak-side help complement his freakish athleticism.They played a part in allowing him to rise up for Fair’s missed jumper with 4:43 to play.“I don’t know where he came from,” Fair said, “but I saw it.”Coming in from the middle of the lane, Grant elevated and — in one fluid motion — caught the rebound at its peak, with his right arm fully cocked back and threw it down through the rim, sending landing-pad BC forward Ryan Anderson stumbling off the court.“That was a ‘Woah — did that just happen?’ — kind of play,” Boeheim said.It did. It sucked the life out of Conte Forum, which was shaking only minutes ago. It turned the momentum of the game squarely in the Orange’s favor and it gave the team a 62-53 lead with 4:43 to play.Grant said the dunk is one of his two best of all time, rivaling his two-handed tip-slam against California earlier this season. That one was only a candidate for SportsCenter’s Top 10 list.But with just less than half a season to go, there’ll be plenty more chances to rattle rims and catalyze crowds.Maybe even enough chances to land a No. 1. Comments Published on January 14, 2014 at 4:18 am Contact Stephen: [email protected] | @Stephen_Bailey1 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img