Syracuse Needs Overtime, But Collects 84-80 Victory Over Rutgers

-- Visit SB Nation's Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for everything Syracuse, while On The Banks is full of Rutgers coverage. -- SB Nation New York's Howard Megdal previews Saturday's Big East action.

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Syracuse Basketball Score And Reaction: Another Well Earned Big East Conference Victory

Some fans might be upset about the Syracuse basketball program needing overtime to defeat the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, 84-80, in a Big East Conference game at the Carrier Dome. However, if you’ve seen the Rutgers basketball program play at all this season — and being an SB Nation New York college basketball guy, I’ve watched them a bit — that’s how Mike Rice coaches. His teams are fundamentally sound, play solid defense and don’t quit. (Just ask the Villanova Wildcats, who lost to Rice last week and almost to him last March.)

Right now, Rutgers (13-13, 4-10 Big East) doesn’t have the talent to win a lot of games in the nation’s toughest league, but they play well enough to compete. Thanks to senior forward Rick Jackson, who filled the stat sheet with 18 points, 12 rebounds and seven blocks; and junior forward Kris Joseph, who quietly netted had a team-best 21 points, SU (22-6, 9-6) survived a Big East contest. (Something that seems hard to do right now.)

Sophomore guard Brandon Triche scored just seven second-half points, but finished with 17, six rebounds and four assists. Again, freshman forward C.J. Fair was very productive off the bench with 17 points and eight rebounds.

It was a grinder for SU, but playing in the nation’s best league isn’t easy. Ask Villanova, which almost lost to the DePaul Blue Demons Saturday. This was a decent primer for the Orange who will play another "Big Monday" showdown on the road, this time at ’Nova (7 p.m.).


Syracuse Vs. Rutgers Final Score: Orange Need Overtime, But Collect 84-80 Victory Over Scarlet Knights

Senior forward Rick Jackson's stat-stuffing performance of 18 points, 12 rebounds and a collegiate-best seven blocks Saturday helped the Syracuse basketball program beat the scrappy Rutgers Scarlet Knights in overtime, 84-80, in a Big East Conference contest at the Carrier Dome. Junior forward Kris Joseph scored six of his team-best 21 points in OT for the Orange (No. 17 in the AP poll and No. 20 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll), who earned their second consecutive win. The Scarlet Knights (13-13, 4-10 Big East) are 1-5 in their last six games.

The Orange (22-6, 9-6) outscored Rutgers 14-10 in the extra five minutes to earn their second win of the week. The Scarlet Knights, who led 44-43 at halftime, battled hard but couldn't stop SU's Jackson late in the contest. Jackson (a 49.5 percent free-throw shooter this season) made 10 of 17 shots from the charity stripe to help collect his 17th double-double of the season. All together, SU made 34-for-47 (72.3 percent) from the charity stripe. Rutgers shot just 9 of 14 (64.3) from the free-throw line.

Rutgers trailed 62-55 with 9:33 to go in regulation, but used a 11-2 run to take a 66-64 advantage with 2:30 to play. With 24.9 seconds to go, senior guard Mike Coburn, who scored a team-best 18 points, made two free throws to give the Scarlet Knights a 70-69 lead. After an SU timeout, Jackson was fouled inside and made one-of-two free throws to tie the game at 70 with 9.9 seconds remaining. The Scarlet Knights had a chance to win the game, but senior guard James Beatty missed a long-distance 3-pointer as time expired.

SU finished the game 22-of-51 (43.1) from the floor and 6-of-10 (31.6) from 3-point land. Freshman forward C.J. Fair scored 17 points and collected eight rebounds off the bench. Sophomore guard Brandon Triche finished with 17 points, six rebounds and four assists, while teammate senior point guard Scoop Jardine had just nine points and four assists.

Rutgers went 31-of-68 (45.6) on field goals and 9-of-23 from behind the 3-point arc. Freshman center Gilvydas Biruta finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, but fouled out of the game with 3:38 to go in OT. Senior forward Jonathan Mitchell netted 13 points and collected seven rebounds.

The Syracuse basketball schedule features the Orange traveling to the Villanova Wildcats Monday night (7 p.m.). Next Saturday, SU is at the Georgetown Hoyas (noon). Syracuse finished its regular season play by host the DePaul Blue Demons, March 5 (4 p.m.).

The Rutgers basketball schedule has the Scarlet Knights hosting the Louisville Cardinals Tuesday night (9 p.m.). Next Sunday, Feb. 27, Rutgers hosts the West Virginia Mountaineers (noon).


Syracuse Vs. Rutgers Halftime Score: Scarlet Knights Collect Slim 44-43 Lead Over Orange

Senior guard Mike Coburn has scored a game-best 12 points, including a buzzer-beating 3-point shot that helped the Rutgers Scarlet Knights take a 44-43 halftime advantage over the Syracuse Orange (No. 17 in the AP Poll and No. 20 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll) in a Big East Conference game at the Carrier Dome. Freshman forward Gilvyds Biruta has chipped in with nine points and four rebounds for Rutgers (13-12, 4-9 Big East), which so far has out rebounded SU 15-9.

Syracuse jumped out to an early 25-15 lead, but Rutgers outscored the Orange 28-18 in the last 10:16 to take a one-point margin into the locker room. SU Sophomore guard Brandon Triche and senior forward Rick Jackson are each pacing the Orange (21-6, 8-6) with 11 points. Triche has added three assists, while Jackson has collected five rebounds. Freshman C.J. Fair has eight-bench points and junior forward Kris Joseph, SU's leading scorer with 14.8 points per game, has just six.

Statistically, Syracuse is 14 for 24 (58.3 percent) from the floor and 4 for 11 (36.4) from behind the 3-point line. Rutgers finished the half 18-of-33 (54.5) on field goals and 5-of-9 (55.6) from 3-point land.


Syracuse Vs. Rutgers: Scarlet Knights Vistit Orange At Carrier Dome

Two SB Nation New York college programs, Syracuse and Rutgers basketball, meet in a Big East Conference contest Saturday afternoon at the Carrier Dome. The Orange (No. 17 in the AP poll and No. 20 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll) started the season 18-0, but has lost six of their last nine games. Syracuse is trying to find some consistency before postseason play begins, while the Scarlet Knights (13-12, 4-9 Big East), who are 1-4 in their last five contests, are fighting for an NIT Tournament bid.

Syracuse (21-6, 8-6) snapped a three-game home losing streak Monday night with a 63-52 victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers. The story of the contest was sophomore guard Brandon Triche's 20-point performance. Triche, who's slowly emerging as SU's go-to guy, netted his second straight 20-plus performance and is clearly growing as a player as the season progresses.

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 - Brandon Triche 27 28.2 4.0 8.7 45.5 1.4 4.1 34.2 1.9 2.4 78.1 0.9 1.4 2.3 2.8 1.8 0.7 0.0 1.9 11.2

Triche has needed to carry the Orange because the team's best player, senior forward Rick Jackson, is struggling. In SU's past three contents, Jackson, who's averaging a double-double (12.8 points and 11.1 rebounds per game), has posted just 7.0 points and 8 rebounds a game. Junior forward Kris Joseph is still the squad's best scorer (14.8 ppg), while teammate senior point guard Scoop Jardine benefited Monday from Triche's performance. Jardine finished with a stat-stuff performance of nine points, five rebounds, six assists and five steals.

Senior forward Jonathan Mitchell has scored 20-plus points in four straight games for Rutgers. Mitchell is morphing himself into the Scarlet Knight's go-to guy, but the 6-foot-7 forward isn't receiving any help from teammates. Not other Rutgers player is averaging double figures, but freshman forward Gilvydas Biruta has been the team's second-best player.

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 - Gilvydas Biruta 25 21.4 3.2 6.1 52.6 0.1 0.5 23.1 2.5 3.4 72.9 2.4 2.9 5.2 0.5 1.2 0.7 0.8 3.2 9.0

Under first-year head coach Mike Rice, the Scarlet Knights averaging just 66.8 ppg, but are solid on the defensive end, allowing just 64.9 ppg. Last Wednesday, Jan. 9, Rutgers earned its first victory in four games by defeating No. 15/14 Villanova Wildcats. The Scarlet Knight followed that performance with a 69-64 loss to the Seton Hall Pirates last Saturday.

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