Syracuse back on top

No. 4 Orange rebound with a win two days after its first loss

On the heels of their first loss of the season, No. 4 Syracuse (21-1, 8-1) was able to outlast Cincinnati (15-6, 5-3) Monday night at Fifth Third Arena 60-53 in SU coach Jim Boeheim’s 877th career victory. With the win, Boeheim passes Adolph Rupp for the fourth most wins by a NCAA Division 1 coach.

Senior forward Kris Joseph led the Orange in the victory, scoring 17 points and grabbing 6 rebounds. Senior guard Scoop Jardine added 13 points and 6 assists, while junior guard Brandon Triche recorded 11 points and 4 steals. Syracuse was without starting center Fab Melo for the second game in a row, but Rakeem Christmas played well in his place. The freshman center recorded a career-high 9 rebounds, scored four points, and blocked three shots.

Cincinnati exploited the Syracuse zone in the same way Notre Dame did early on, hitting 4-of-5 from behind the arc in the first four minutes of the game to go up 15-6. However, C.J. Fair, James Southerland, and Christmas sparked a 9-0 run that tied the game up at 15-15.

With 40 seconds remaining in the half, Joseph gave Syracuse its first lead of the game with a dunk. Dion Waiters followed up with basket at the buzzer to put the Orange up 28-25 at halftime.

Cincinnati came out in the second half just as they did the first, going on a 9-2 run to go up 34-30.

It wasn’t until the 9:30 mark that Syracuse finally began hitting their stride from behind the arc. Before back-to-back 3-pointers by Jardine and Triche, the Orange were 0-8 from 3-point range. Those shots were part of a 12-2 run capped off by a Joseph bucket that gave Syracuse a 52-44 lead with 6:08 remaining in the game.

The run ended up being too much for the Bearcats, who could only come within six points of the Orange before Jardine hit a long-range three that would give SU a 59-48 lead with under two minutes remaining in the game.

Cashmere Wright and Yancy Gates were the top scorers for the Bearcats, scoring 17 and 16 points, respectively.

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