SU snaps two-game losing streak in win

No. 9 Syracuse defeated No. 25 Notre Dame 63-48 thanks to CJ Fair's 18-point, 10-rebound performance, snapping a two-game losing streak and extending the home-winning streak to 36.

The No. 9 Syracuse University men’s basketball team (19-3, 7-2 Big East) defeated the No. 25 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (18-5, 6-4 Big East) 63-48 at the Carrier Dome on Monday. The win extends Syracuse’s home winning streak to 36 and snaps a two-game losing streak for the Orange, its first since the 2010-2011 season.

Photo: Taylor Baucom
Sophomore guard Michael Carter-Williams grabs a rebound in the second half during the win against Notre Dame. Syracuse has now won a school record 36 consecutive games at home.

“We needed to win, that’s it,” senior guard Brandon Triche said. He added that the team came into the game with a mindset of getting everyone involved and of playing solid defense.

Junior forward C.J. Fair led Syracuse with 18 points and 10 boards, while freshman forward Jerami Grant scored a career-high 14 points and six rebounds. Triche and sophomore guard Michael Carter-Williams struggled shooting the ball after combining for eight points on 3-of-12 shooting, but also combined for 14 assists, six and eight, respectively.

The Orange started the first half strong after a 10-0 run in the first 14 minutes. Notre Dame, however, answered with an 11-0 run of their own. But the Irish’s answer was not enough to fend off Syracuse’s offense. Syracuse regained the lead after Fair nailed two free throws and did not give it up for the rest of the game.

The Orange’s offensive success continued in the second half as Grant, Fair and sophomore forward Rakeem Christmas capitalized on their rhythm and their success against the Irish defense. Christmas finished with 12 points.

Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said the keys to his team’s offensive success were patience and the play of Grant and Christmas. Grant played at a high level once again and Christmas played the best basketball since he started his career with the Orange, Boeheim said.

“[Grant] just made those 15-footers,” Boeheim said. “He was really good. Pittsburgh was a little more physical than he was ready for, I think, but the other games he’s played in he’s played really well.”

This was the second straight game Grant played 40 minutes. Boeheim said the team needs him to play that amount of time.

“We have no one else,” Boeheim said. “It’s not a hard decision. I’ve said it many times; maybe in a really up-tempo game you’re going to get tired.”

The Orange also had a solid performance defensively. Syracuse held the Fighting Irish to 18-of- 52 (36.4-percent) shooting from the field and to 6-of-20 (30-percent) from 3-point range.  Fair said the team was consistent defensively throughout the game.

“Everybody had each other’s back in the zone,” Fair said. “Somebody made a mistake, they hustled and helped them out. We have to keep playing like this every night.”

The Orange will be back at the Carrier Dome Sunday, Feb. 10 at 3 p.m. to host the St. John’s Red Storm.

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