Senior guard Casey Mitchell has scored a game-best 11 points for the West Virginia Mountaineers, who have used seven 3-pointers to earn a 30-26 at halftime advantage over the Syracuse Orange (No. 17 in the AP poll and No. 20 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches pool) at the Carrier Dome. Senior guard John Flowers has added six points, including two 3s, while teammates junior guard Darryl Bryant and sophomore guard Dalton Pepper each have a 3-ball.
The Orange (20-6, 7-6 Big East) did have an early 14-8 lead with at about the 12-minute mark, but SU's offense sputtered and the Mountaineers (16-8, 7-5) stayed close. Finally, WVU took a 30-24 lead after Flowers and Mitchell connected on back-to-back 3-pointers with less than two minutes to play in the first half.
Junior forward Kris Joseph and sophomore guard Brandon Triche each have a team-best seven points for SU, which lost six of its last eight games. Triche has three personal fouls and had to sit out a large chunk of time in the first half. Senior forward Rick Jackson has six points and three rebounds for Syracuse, which leads the rebound margin (14-11). Senior point guard Scoop Jardine has four points and three assists.
The Mountaineers finished the half shooting 10-of-22 (45.5 percent) from the floor and 7-of-13 (53.8) from behind the 3-point arc. Syracuse shot 11-of-27 (40.7) on field goals and just 2-of-8 (25.0) from 3-point land.