Scoop Jardine's 20 Points Propel Orange Past Wildcats, 69-64

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Syracuse Basketball Score and Reaction: Scoop Jardine Clutch In Homecoming Finale

What a night for senior point guard Scoop Jardine, who netted a team-best 20 points Monday night to help the Syracuse Orange (No. 17 in the AP poll and No. 20 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll) to a scrappy 69-64 victory at the No. 14 Villanova Wildcats in a Big East Conference game in Philadelphia. Jardine, a Philly native, added six assists, four rebounds and for about two minutes in the second half, he put SU on his back. That small, but big, effort helped the Orange (23-6, 10-6 Big East) earn a victory at a very tough road venue, The Pavilion.

SU, winners of its last three games, now are in contention for a two-round bye in the Big East Tournament, March 8-12. Currently, the Orange are alone in sixth place in the Big East standings (the top four teams earn two-round byes, the next four earn just a one-round bye). Syracuse plays at the third-place Georgetown Hoyas (21-6, 10-5) on Saturday (noon on ESPN). The following Saturday SU will play host to the last-place DePaul Blue Demons (7-19, 1-13). Two more wins and a 12-6 conference record probably allows SU to sneak into fourth place.

Anyway, as sloppy as the victory seemed Monday night, it was another Big East "W". It also was a win at The Pavilion, which is easily in the Top 3 toughest places to play in the Big East. If your team can snagged a victory there, in anyway possible, it was a good day.

However, SU fans were sitting at the edge of their seats pretty much the whole second half. Leading 29-27 at halftime, after 'Nova missed almost every shot (8 of 33, 24.2 percent) in the first half, Syracuse basketball enthusiasts knew that Wildcats wouldn't stay on their horrid pace. Well, they pretty much did (21-of-65, 32.3). The Wildcats could hit anything from 3-point range (5-of-26, 19.2) unless it was senior guard Corey Stokes, who made all of 'Nova's 3-balls. The rest of the team went 0-of-16. Ouch, but credit needs to go to SU's 2-3 zone defense which contested shots all night long.

Solid effort by senior forward Rick Jackson (18 points, five rebounds and four blocks) and sophomore guard Brandon Triche (11 points and seven rebounds). Triche had a hard time finding shots, but made a tough layup with less than a minute to go to help SU take a 65-60 lead. Freshman guard Dion Watiers, who tallied seven points but was again inconsistent, nailed two clutch free throws in the finals seconds to cement the victory.

Now, time to get amped for the Hoyas.


Syracuse 69, Villanova 64 Final Score: Scoop Jardine's 20 Points Propels Orange At Wildcats

Senior point guard Scoop Jardine netted a team-best 20 points Monday night to propel the Syracuse Orange (No. 17 in the AP poll and No. 20 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll) to a gritty 69-64 victory at the No. 14 Villanova Wildcats in a Big East Conference contest in Philadelphia. Jardine added six assists and four rebounds, while teammate senior forward Rick Jackson tallied 18 points and four blocked shots. Syracuse is now on a three-game winning streak.

Syracuse (23-6, 10-6 Big East) survived another Big East scrum thanks to Jardine, who at one point netted six straight points in the second half, and two clutch free throws from freshman guard Dion Waiters, who finished with seven points. Villanova (21-7, 9-6), which trailed 49-40 early in the second half, had trimmed SU's advantage to just 55-54 with 4:28 to play.

However, Jardine answered with a 2-point runner, a free throw and a 3-pointer that extended SU's margin to 61-56 with 4:44 to go. 'Nova battled back and shrank its disadvantage back to one-point, 65-64, with 21.7 seconds remaining after sophomore forward Isaiah Armwood made two free throws. Waiters, who missed the front-end of a one-and-one a possession earlier, was fouled again, but this time nailed both attempts to push Syracuse's lead to 67-64 with 14.7 seconds left. The Wildcats failed to get a shot off on their next possession and fouled Jackson on a loose ball. The 50.9 percent free-throw shooter made both attempts from the charity stripe and cemented the victory.

'Nova senior guard Corey Stokes netted a game-best 24 points, including five 3-pointers. Stokes, 5-of-10 from behind the 3-point arc, finished with the only Wildcats 3-balls. The rest of the team finished 0 for 16. Overall, Villanova shot 21-of-65 (32.3 percent) on field goals and 5-of-26 (19.2) on 3-pointers. Armwood finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Surprisingly, SU (13-of-17) out shot the conference's best free-throw shooting team (17-of-27). The Orange finished 26-of-55 (47.3) from the floor and 4-of-15 from 3-point land. Junior forward Kris Joseph had just seven points but collected a team-best eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Brandon Triche finished with 11 points and seven boards.

The Syracuse basketball schedule features the Orange traveling to the nation's capital to play the the Georgetown Hoyas (21-6, 10-5) on Saturday afternoon. The Orange then concluded regular season play the following Saturday by hosting the DePaul Blue Demons (7-19, 1-13), March 5 (4 p.m.).


Syracuse 29, Villanova 27 Halftime Score: Wildcats Struggling, But Trail Orange By Just Two

Senior point guard Scoop Jardine has a game-best 10 points for the Syracuse Orange, who lead the Villanova Wildcats, 29-27, at halftime of a Big East Conference game in Philadelphia. Despite trailing by two points, the No. 14-ranked Wildcats (21-6, 9-5) are happy with the margin after shooting just 8 of 33 (24.2 percent) from the floor, including a 8:44 span that featured no field goals, in the first half. Senior guard Corey Stokes has a team-best eight points. Sophomore Isaiah Armwood has six points.

The Orange (No. 17 in the AP poll and No. 20 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll) led by as much as nine points, but committed nine turnovers and 12 personal fouls in the first 20 minutes. SU (22-6, 9-6) led 27-20 with 1:40 to play in the first half, but 'Nova used a tiny 7-2 run to shrink the advantage heading into the locker room. Junior forward Kris Joseph, SU's leading scorer with 15 point per game, has three fouls and two points. Senior forward Rick Jackson has six points and three rebounds. Syracuse has attempted one free-throw shot, while Villanova 9-for-16 from the charity stripe.

Statically, SU is 13 of 29 (44.8) on field goals and 2 of 10 from behind the 3-point arc. 'Nova leads in the rebound margin, 18-16.


Syracuse Vs. Villanova: Wildcats Host Orange In 'Big Monday' Showdown.

Two Big East Conference foes, the Syracuse Orange (No. 17 in the AP poll and No. 20 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll) and No. 14 Villanova Wildcats, square off Monday night at The Pavilion in Philadelphia, PA. The Orange (22-6, 9-6) and Wildcats (21-6, 9-5) are each trying to find some sort of rhythm before the postseason begins. Both teams got off to a decent start last week, as SU earned two victories at the Carrier Dome, while 'Nova earned two road victories last week.

On Saturday afternoon, SU needed overtime to beat the scrappy the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, 84-80. The victory was the second in a row for Syracuse, but just the fourth in the last 10 games. Currently, the Orange are in seventh-place in the coference standings. The Wildcats also needed an extra five-minutes Saturday, but downed the DePaul Blue Demons, 77-75. 'Nova now sits in a three-way tie for fourth place in the standings with No. 16 Louisville Cardinals 20-7, 9-5) and No. 23/25 St. John's Red Storm (17-9, 9-5).

As of Monday, Junior forward Kris Joseph, 15 points per game, is the Orange's leading scorer. Joseph netted a team-best 21 points Saturday against Rutgers. Senior forward Rick Jackson has been SU's most consistent player. Jackson, who is averaging 13 ppg and 11.2 rebound per game, posted his 17th double-double (18 points, 12 rebounds and a collegiate-best seven blocks) against the Scarlet Knights. Sophomore guard Brandon Triche and freshman forward C.J. Fair are both emerging as large contributors to SU's offense. In their last four games, Triche is averaging 17.3 ppg, while Fair has posted 12.0 ppg.

According to SB Nation's The Nova Blog, senior guard Corey Stokes will start Monday, despite suffering a turf toe-like injury on Saturday against DePaul. Currently, Stokes is averaging 14.6 ppg and is shooting 41.5 percent from behind the 3-point line. However, if Stokes isn't 100 percent healthy, teammate senior guard Corey Fisher proved Saturday he can carry the Wildcats on his back. Fisher finished with a season-high 34 points and knocked down the game-tying 3-point at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime. Sophomore guard  Maalik Wayns, who scored a game-best 21 points in a 83-72 victory over SU, Jan. 22, is averaging 13.4 ppg, but shooting just 24.2 percent from behind the 3-point arc.

-- Information for this preview was provided by Sports Network.

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