Syracuse Defeats St. John's, 76-59, At MSG

-- For more coverage on Wednesday's night game, visit Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for SU coverage or Rumble In The Garden for Johnnies coverage.

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Syracuse 76, St. John's 59: Orange Collect Convincing Win At MSG

That probably wasn't what Big East Conference basketball followers expected.

Not saying, fans thought the No. 4-ranked Syracuse Orange were not good; but many probably thought the St. John's Red Storm were better than their awful effort Wednesday, which led to a 76-59 thumbing at Madison Square Garden.

Behind a game-best 18 points from junior forward Kris Joseph, Syracuse (17-0, 4-0) remained unbeaten and cemented it's claim of being New York's college team.

"Believe me, I have no secret," Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said about his teams success at the Garden. "We have good players. They know how to play."

The Orange started the game much like it did Saturday against the Seton Hall Pirates, very slow.

In the games first 11 minutes, SU went 3-for-12 from the floor and trailed 17-9.

Syracuse then kicked it into gear and finished the half outscoring the Johnnies 26-7 to take a 35-24 lead at halftime.

During the run, which ended with SU scoring 10-unanswered points in the final two minutes of the half, sophomore guard Brandon Triche scored seven of his 15 points. Point guard Scoop Jardine added five points and an assist during the span.

"Tonight, we started a little slow and out of sync," said Boeheim. "Then they (the SU players) saw what needed to be done against their defense."

In the second half, Syracuse continued its solid offensive play and extended its lead to 22-points, 61-39, with 8:02 remaining to go.

Late in the game, the Red Storm (10-5, 3-2) closed the scoring margin after SU emptied it's bench.

St. John's started the game 6-for-16 from the floor but finished just 21 of 56 (37.5 percent). From 3-point land, the Johnnies shot a pitiful 2-for-12 (16.7) against SU's 2-3 zone.

St. John's leading scorer, senior guard Dwight Hardy, netted just 12 points and went 4-for-16 on field goals. Forward Justin Brownlee added a team-best 13 points.


Syracuse 35, St. John's 24: Halftime

The St. John’s Red Storm started the first half strong but the No. 4-ranked Syracuse Orange finished the first half on a roll and lead 35-24 at halftime.

Behind senior forward Justin Brownlee’s five points, the Red Storm (10-4, 3-1 Big East) took an early 17-9 lead at about the halfway point of the first half.

However, Syracuse (16-0, 3-0) finished the half on a 26-7 run to take a sizable advantage into the locker room.

Currently, SU forward Kris Joseph has a game-best nine points. Teammate Brandon Triche added seven points, which included a lay up and 3-point basket that came in the last two minutes.

Starting point guard Dwight Hardy leads the Johnnies with eight points. Hardy nailed back-to-back 3-pointers, which closed the SU advantage to 25-24 with about three minutes to go, but SU rallied off 10-straight points to end the half.

SU shooting stats: 14 of 28 (50 percent). St. John’s: 10 of 29 (34.5).

Syracuse started the game by shooting 3-for-12 from the floor.

St. John’s 1-2-2 zone has forced Syracuse to turn the ball over 10 times. The Red Storm have committed nine turnovers.


St. John's 12, Syracuse 7: First Half (10:29 Remaining)

The St. John’s Red Storm have taken an early 12-7 lead against No. 4-ranked Syracuse Orange in a Big East Conference contest at Madison Square Garden.

So far, the Orange have shot just 3-for-12 from the floor, while the Red Storm started slow, 1-for-5 in the games first three minutes, but has found offensive rhythm.

The St. John’s 1-2-2 zone defense has forced a couple SU turnovers which have led to easy baskets for the Red Storm.


Steve Lavin Vs. Jim Boeheim: Comb Over Or Grease Lighting?

Wednesday's match up between the No. 4-ranked Syracuse Orange (16-0, 3-0) and St. John's Red Storm (7 p.m. on ESPN) features two head coaches who do not have a lot in common.

For instance, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim has coached at SU for 35 years and has slowly built an elite program, which has been steadly ranked in the Top 5 for two consecutive seasons.

St. John's head coach Steve Lavin is in the midst of his first season at St. John's and wants to rapidly build an elite program, which just received four points in the latest AP poll -- the last time the Red Storm (10-4, 3-1) earned votes in any college basketball poll was in December of 2009.

Boeheim has 845 career victories, ranked fifth all-time in Division I coaching victories (most importantly, he's ahead of Connecticut Huskies head coach Jim Calhoun!)

Lavin has only 155 career victories as a head coach (not even close to being ahead of Calhoun).

Boeheim coaches a team called the ORANGE. Lavin's team is called the RED Storm.

In his entire life, Boeheim has never left the city of Syracuse -- okay, maybe, a slight exaggeration.

Lavin coached UCLA for seven seasons (1996-'03) and according to Sports Illustrated does yoga -- picture Boeheim doing yoga. Haha. Good stuff.

Boeheim has sported a stylish comb over.

Lavin resembles Danny Zuko from the movie Grease.

So, there you go. What opposite is going to be better tonight? Comb over or Grease Lighting?

Need to contact Jared? Please, do so by e-mail: or via Twitter: Jared_E_Smith.


Scoop Jardine Vs. Dwight Hardy: Match Up Key To Victory

On Monday, I wrote in my Big East Conference Notes column that Syracuse Orange junior point guard Scoop Jardine needs to play better if SU is going to make a run at the league title or Final Four.

Tonight, Jardine will get his chance to step up his game on the big stage, as the Orange (16-0, 3-0 Big East) travel to Madison Square Garden -- their home away from home -- to take on the St. John's Red Storm (10-4, 3-1).

Jardine will butt heads against St. John's starting point guard senior Dwight Hardy, who's probably the second-best guard in the Big East, the first has been Kemba Walker of the Connecticut Huskies.

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2010 - Scoop Jardine 16 30.9 4.7 10.6 44.1 1.3 4.6 28.8 3.1 4.5 69.4 0.3 1.8 2.1 6.0 2.6 1.8 0.3 1.2 13.8

If you haven't heard of Hardy, who was a New York City playground legend, start keeping track.

FG 3PT FT Rebounds Misc
G M M A Pct M A Pct M A Pct Off Def Tot Ast TO Stl Blk PF PPG
2010 - Dwight Hardy 14 33.4 4.7 10.8 43.7 1.5 5.5 27.3 5.1 5.5 92.2 0.4 2.4 2.9 2.4 2.3 1.4 0.1 2.1 16.0

Already this season, Hardy has earned Big East Player Of The Week honors -- after averaging 20.5 points and 6.5 rebounds in victories against the West Virginia Mountaineers and the Providence Friars in the week ending in Jan. 2 -- and, over the last eight games, has netted 19.9 points-per game while shooting .526 from the field, including .957 from the free-throw line.

Hardy is doing most of his work in the second half of games, scoring 10.2 points and making 30 of 32 shots from the charity stripe.

In the MSG Holiday Festival Tournament championship game, which featured St. John's beating the Northwestern Wildcats, Hardy scored a team-best 24 points, which included five 3-pointers.

Currently, Hardy has scored 20 or more points in six of his last eight games.

Now, because SU plays defense in a 2-3 zone instead of a typical man-to-man setup, it wont be a guard-versus-guard showdown. However, make sure to keep an eye on how important each player's play has on his team's performance.

Notes for this piece were provided by Need to contact Jared? You can do so by e-mail: or via Twitter: Jared_E_Smith.


Syracuse Orange Vs. St. John's Red Storm: The Fight For "Home" Court Advantage

The No. 4-ranked Syracuse Orange put their unblemished 16-0 record on the line Wednesday night as the St. John's Red Storm host an intriguing Big East Conference matchup at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. on ESPNU).

Syracuse (16-0, 3-0 Big East) will play its second-straight road game and try to remain one of five teams in the nation to remain without a loss -- currently, No. 1 Duke Blue Devils, No. 2 Ohio St. Buckeyes, No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks and No. 6 San Diego St. Aztecs all remain undefeated.

Last week, St. John's (10-4, 3-1) beat the Georgetown Hoyas (ranked No. 22 in the AP poll and No. 19 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll) Monday but lost to No. 9/11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish Sunday. However, the efforts allowed the Johnnies to earn four points in Monday's AP poll, which ranked the Red Storm 39th in the nation. The votes were the first Top 25 points for St. John's since December of 2009.

The main storyline for Wednesday's game isn't the coaches (legendary SU head coach Jim Boeheim against slick-looking St. John's head coach Steve Lavin) or the players (SU point guard Scoop Jardine against St. John's point guard Dwight Hardy -- click link.)

Nope, there's none of that common, pregame rhetoric. The real story -- at least this is what the SB Nation blogs are talking about -- is the fact that Syracuse has made MSG its home away from home during the past decade.

That advantage is something that the Johnnies want, desperately, to take back.

"Bob Wenzel's line in that loss at the Garden about hearing the "jingle of car keys" from the Red Storm section has stuck with me," wrote Pico Dulce of Rumble In The Garden. "Years after the game. It was horrifying, not just for the home loss to the Orange, but for the comfort the Orange fans felt -cheering, throwing free t-shirts BACK onto the court..."

"Syracuse?! Syracuse, though pleasant enough, is a completely different New York! If Syracuse is New York's team, New York City should secede! Syracuse is Canada!* The Red Storm fans have to Take the Garden Back. We need rallies. We St. John's fans need to fight this tyranny."

According to Sean Keeley of Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician, the 'Cuse faithful take pride in calling MSG home.

"By all accounts if you were visiting NYC from a foreign country during late December, no one would have blame you for thinking Syracuse University was actually located in Manhattan. It was DOC Gross' dream come true (he's still working on that Manhattan move...)."

"Cuse fans take offense at MSG games being considered home games but the truth is it's usually mock offense. We LOVE the fact that we can pack the Garden any time we play there. Even when we're playing St. John's...which is IN New York City."

So, let the fight for 'home-court' advantage take place. Battleground: Madison Square Garden.

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