Sorry, you need to install flash to see this content.

Hold on tight

After giving up a 16-point second half lead, the Orange buckled down to hang onto its lead and end with a victory against arch-rival UConn.

With the No. 2 national ranking on the line and the extra anticipation of its first meeting with Connecticut since last year's historic six overtime game at Madison Square Garden, Syracuse found a way to fend off its Big East rival yet again in Wednesday's 72-67 nail-biter win at the Carrier Dome.

"I give us a lot of credit because we do keep our composure when teams make runs at us."
- Scoop Jardine

Rick Jackson led Syracuse with 15 points, while Kris Joseph and Wes Johnson had 14 and 13 respectively. Joseph and Johnson combined to make six straight free throws in the final 33 seconds to help seal the win for the Orange.

The Orange’s 2-3 zone seemed to confuse the Huskies in the first half, as it has most of this year's opponents. The second half however, was a different story. SU came out after halftime with a 7-2 run and stretched the lead to 16, but the Huskies slowly began to find ways to attack the SU zone. With Andy Rautins on the bench with four fouls, the Huskies stormed back to tie the game at 65 with 2:33 left. After clutch free throw shooting from Johnson and Joseph, Syracuse was able to relax and enjoy its league-leading 11th Big East victory.

Point guard Scoop Jardine played a significant role in this game's second half, as he has in a few big games this season. Despite coming off the bench, Jardine’s play has been invaluable to SU’s success and he has emerged as one of the team’s vocal leader.

“Our job is to just keep the guys level headed," Jardine said. "We don’t get high, we don’t get too low, we just stay right there in the middle.

"And I give us a lot of credit because we do keep our composure when teams make runs at us.”

Syracuse’s biggest problem is that they tend to be careless with the ball at times, allowing many games to end closer than they should. The turnover issues have yet to cause any major setbacks for the Orange, but has potential to be detrimental later down the road. 

With its 11th straight win, this is the first time SU has ever had two 10-game win streaks in one season. With just six games to go in the regular season, SU is in prime position to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. The Orange are back in action this Sunday at the Dome when they face Louisville. 

More on Twitter

Follow @NewsHouseSports for in-game updates, news and opinion.

Jason Dumas, a man among boys

That Jason Dumas sure can write. Plus he's so handsome and charming!

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.