Villanova Hands Syracuse Second-Straight Loss With 83-72 Victory

-- SB Nation's Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and The Nova Blog participate in a two-part Q & A. Read Part I then Part II.

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Syracuse Basketball Score And Reaction: Kris Joseph Shows Up But Scoop Jardine And Bench Doesn't

It wasn’t fun for No. 3 Syracuse Orange fans Saturday afternoon as their squad lost to the No. 7 Villanova Wildcats, 83-72, in a Big East Conference game at the Carrier Dome. The Orange (18-2, 5-2 Big East) are now on a two-game losing streak.

In retrospect, it was good to see junior forward Kris Joseph back in the lineup and playing well. Joseph got out of the gates quickly by scoring seven of SU’s first nine points. However, the forward went scoreless for the remainder of the half as Syracuse trailed 40-29 at the break. Joseph kicked it into "go-to guy" mode in the second half by netting 14 and leading a rally. However, No. 32 couldn’t finish the job and SU’s comeback stalled at 69-65 with about two-and-a-half minutes remaining in the game. ‘Nova closed out the victory with outstanding free-throw shooting (22-for-24 overall and 12-for-12 in the games’ final two-and-a-half minutes).

The loss can't be pinned on Joseph. Senior starting point guard Scoop Jardine, who went 1-for-8 from the field, committed two turnovers and dished out just two assists, is the one to snarl at. Jardine’s and SU's perimeter defense wasn't good either as the Wildcats shot 8-for-13 from 3-point land in the first half and 11-for-24 overall.

However, Jardine isn’t the only one to blame. The SU bench, which shot just 5-for-17 (29 percent) from the field, did absolutely nothing. Usually, when freshmen center Fab Melo leaves the game, freshman spark plugs Dion Waiters and C.J. Fair do their thing. Not today. 'Nova's senior pair of guards Corey Stokes and Corey Fisher, along with sophomore guards Maalik Wayns and Dominic Cheek owned the Orange young guns. And, when Waiter, Fair and Jardine aren’t playing well, Syracuse isn’t going to win many games.

Another great game by senior forward Rick Jackson, who posted 16 points and 15 rebounds to earn his 13th double-double of the year. SU actually outrebounded ‘Nova, 32-26, but didn’t get the important ones.

The Syracuse basketball schedule has them hosting the Seton Hall Pirates Thursday night (7 p.m.), then at the Marquette Golden Eagles Saturday afternoon (3 p.m.).


Maalik Wayns Scores 21 To Propel Villanova Past Syracuse, 83-72

Sophomore guard Maalik Wayns scored 17 of his team-best 21 points in the first half Saturday to help the No. 7-ranked Villanova Wildcats beat the No. 3 Syracuse Orange, 83-72, in a Big East Conference game at the Carrier Dome. The Orange (18-2, 5-2) are now on a two-game losing streak and currently fourth in the Big East standings. The Wildcats (17-2, 5-1) move into second place.

Syracuse, which trailed 40-29 at halftime, slowly chipped away at 'Nova's advantage. SU got within four points, 69-65, with 2:40 remaining after junior forward Kris Joseph slammed home a dunk. However, the Orange couldn't complete the comeback because of outstanding free-throw shooting by the Wildcats (22-for-24 overall and 12-for-12 in the game's final two-and-a-half minutes). Wayns finished 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. Senior guard Corey Fisher, who finished with 16 points, went 5-for-5 from the foul line. Senior guard Corey Stokes netted 16 points, which included four 3-pointers.

Joseph, who scored 14 of his team-best 21 points, tried his best to rally the Orange in the second half but he didn't receive any support. Senior point guard Scoop Jardine had his worst game of the season, shooting 1-for-8 from the field with two turnovers and just three assists. The Syracuse bench combined to shoot 5-for-17 (29 percent). Senior forward Rick Jackson had a strong effort with 16 points and 15 rebounds to earn his 13th double-double of the season. Sophomore guard Brandon Triche finished with 14 points.

The Wildcats made eight of their 11 three-point shots in the first half and led by as much as 14 points. However, the hot shooting cooled in the second half, and SU, which committed 15 turnovers, mounted a comeback that just fell short.


Maalik Wayns's 17 Point Helps Villanova Take 40-29 Halftime Lead Over Syracuse At Carrier Dome

Sophomore guard Maalik Wayns netted 17 first-half points to help the No. 7 Villanova Wildcats take a 40-29 halftime lead over No. 3 Syracuse Orange at the Carrier Dome. Villanova shot eight of 13 from 3-point land, including three from Wayns, to dominate the first half of play. Syracuse, which trailed by as much as 14 points, has shot 10-for-27 (37 percent) from the field and committed nine turnovers.

Junior forward Kris Joseph, who did not play Monday because of a head injury that he suffered last Saturday, has scored a team-best seven points. However, those seven points came in the game's first five minutes that featured SU leading 9-7. The Orange (18-1, 5-1) then began to play sloppy and 'Nova got hot from 3-point land.

Senior guard Corey Fisher has made all three of his 3-point shots to tally nine points. Fisher also has four assists. Senior guard Corey Stokes (five points) and sophomore guard Dominic Cheek (three) also have made 3-pointers.

Senior forward Rick Jackson and sophomore guard Brandon Triche have each scored five points for Syracuse. Senior point guard Scoop Jardine is 1-for-6 from the field with just two points. The Orange cut the lead to 11 points when freshman guard Dion Waiters made two-point bucket then added a free throw, with about a minute-and-a-half remaining, on SU's next possession.


Carrier Dome Capacity: Syracuse Looking For Record Crowd Against Villanova

The No. 3 Syracuse Orange are hopeful that a record-setting crowd of 33,000-plus fans will pack the Carrier Dome Saturday afternoon as SU hosts No. 7 Villanova Wildcats in a Big East Conference game (noon ET on ESPN). Last season against Villanova, the 49,262-capacity domed stadium set an NCAA on-campus record of 34,616. On that day, the Orange won 95-77 over the Wildcats, earning a school-record 27th regular season victory and a share of the Big East regular season title. The previous on-campus record was also set by Syracuse against Villanova in 2005-'06.

Earlier in the week, Syracuse University launched the "Long-Ranger" promotion that encouraged fans to buy long-range view seats, basically making 6-foot-10 players look like ants. However, for $35 ($12 for kids under 12-years-old) fans get a free t-shirt that says, "I Am A Long Ranger", and a video board so fans don't miss any of the action.

Because of the overflow of fans, SU opened the Carrier Dome earlier than normal (10 a.m. ET) and encouraged anyone, who was attending the game, to come much earlier than normal. The dome Box Office was going to open at 9 a.m. but it wouldn't matter because SU students were camping out for tickets at the beginning of the week!

According to, SU is 46-22 in games played with 30,000 or more fans and 5-1 with crowds of 33,000 or larger.


Syracuse Basketball: Is C.J. Fair The Next Josh Pace?

In Monday night's 74-66 loss to the Pittsburgh Panthers (No. 5 in the AP poll and No. 4 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll), the No. 3 Syracuse Orange fans witnessed a breakout performance from freshman forward C.J. Fair, who came off the bench to compile collegiate-bests in minutes (36), points (16) and rebounds (nine). No. 5 was impressive and helped SU comeback from a horrid start, which featured a 19-0 deficit in the game's first eight minutes.

While watching Fair, who netted six points during a 17-0 run that got the Orange (18-1, 5-1) back into the game, I couldn't help but think the 6-foot-8 forward reminded me of another former SU forward that wore No. 5, Josh Pace. The 6-foot-5 forward, who played for the Orange(men) from 2001-'05, was a solid contributor on Syracuse's National Title team ('02-'03) -- 21 minutes, eight points and eight rebounds in the title game against Kansas -- and ended up averaging 10.8 points and 5.0 rebounds during his senior campaign. Pace's staple was a left-handed floater, which was usually released just inside the free-throw line, that ALWAYS went it -- during his four years with SU, Pace shot 53 percent from the field.

However, not only was Pace a threat on offense but he did all of the little things. Not once can a fan recall screaming at the television, "JOSH! COME ON!" Everything about Pace's game was solid. What Fair did on Monday night was very Josh Pace-like. Solid. It's nice to see the No. 5 contributing again.

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 - C.J. Fair 16 14.7 2.1 4.1 50.0 0.1 0.2 33.3 1.1 2.1 54.5 1.1 1.9 2.9 0.3 0.7 0.8 0.4 1.1 5.3


Syracuse Vs. Villanova: Kris Joseph Returns For Big East Contest At Sold Out Carrier Dome

Thirty-three thousand-plus fans are expected to pack the Carrier Dome Saturday afternoon as the No. 3 Syracuse Orange host Big East Conference rival No. 7 Villanova Wildcats (noon on ESPN). This is the second game in six days where the Orange (18-1, 5-1 Big East) have faced a Top-10 ranked squad -- Monday night, SU lost to the Pittsburgh Panthers (No. 5 in the AP poll and No. 4 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll), 74-66, and had its 18-game winning streak snapped. The Wildcats (16-2, 4-1) had their own 11-game wining streak ended Monday night, losing to No. 8 Connecticut Huskies, 61-59.

By all reports, SU's junior forward and leading scorer Kris Joseph will play Saturday after missing Monday's game because of a head injury, which he suffered a week ago against the Cincinnati Bearcats. Though the Orange put up a good fight against Pitt, Joseph's veteran presence was missed in Monday's loss, which featured SU giving up 19-unanswered points to begin the game. The Orange did rally and tied the contest earlier in the second half but didn't have enough to complete the comeback.

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 - Kris Joseph 18 29.9 4.7 10.0 47.2 1.2 3.4 34.4 3.9 5.6 70.3 1.1 4.1 5.2 1.7 1.8 1.3 0.7 1.4 14.6

A surprise that came out of Monday's loss was the play of freshman guard/forward C.J. Fair, who came off the bench to play 36 minutes, net a collegiate-best 16 points and snag nine rebounds. Senior Rick Jackson had 10 points and a team-best 11 rebounds to earn his 12th double-double of the season.

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 - Rick Jackson 19 34.1 5.7 9.8 58.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 1.7 3.5 48.5 3.5 8.2 11.7 2.7 1.8 1.3 2.3 1.9 13.1

The Wildcats are led by veteran guard play, a characteristic that has become a staple of head coach Jay Wright, who's in his 10th season at Villanova. This season, seniors Corey Fisher (16.1 ppg) and Corey Stokes (15.8) are 1-2 in scoring. The pair is also shooting well from three-point range. Stokes leads 'Nova in three-pointers made (53) and percentage (.438). While, Fisher is second in three-pointers made (25) and percentage (.321). Fisher is the distributor, averaging 4.8 assists-per game. Stokes averages just 1.6.

Leading the Wildcats inside is 6-foot-10 sophomore forward/center Mouphtaou Yarou and 6-8 senior forward Antonio Pena, who are each averaging over eight points and seven rebounds a game.

As a team, the Wildcats rank fifth in the conference in scoring at 76.6 ppg.

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