Senior forward Kris Joseph tallied 11 of his game-best 17 points in the second half to help the No. 3-ranked Syracuse Orange earn a bounce-back road victory against the Cincinnati Bearcats, 60-53, in a Big East Conference men's basketball game at the Fifth Third Arena. Senior point guard Scoop Jardine added 13 points, which included a huge 3-pointer with 1:51 remaining in the game that gave SU a 59-48 lead and cemented the victory.
The result gave Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim his 877th-carrer victory and helped him surpass former Kentucky Wildcats head coach Adolph Rupp for fourth all-time on the Division I coaches list.
"I think this is one of my best wins I've coached at Syracuse," Boeheim told SU play-by-play broadcaster Matt Park after the game.
"The other night everybody played bad," Boeheim also told Park. "Today, everybody played well."
Syracuse's freshman forward Rakeem Christmas chipped in with nine rebounds, three blocks and four points, as he replaced sophomore center Fab Melo in the starting lineup. Melo did not travel with the team for its two-game, Midwest road trip to Notre Dame (Saturday) and Cincinnati because of, "an unresolved academic issue".
The Orange trailed 38-34 just 5:17 into the second half, but used a 18-6 run in the next 10 minutes to take a 54-46 advantage with 3:58 remaining. Jardine, who finished with six assists and scored 10 points in the game's final 9 1/2 minutes, put the game away with his second 3-ball of the half.
Junior guard Cashmere Wright scored a team-best 17 points for Cincinnati, which opened the contest with a 13-6 lead thanks to making four of its first five 3-pointers, including three from Wright.
Syracuse answered with a 9-0 run, which included four points from sophomore forward C.J. Fair and a old fashioned 3-point play from junior forward James Southerland, to tie the game at 19 with 12:08 to play in the first half.
Syracuse trailed 25-22 with 1:37 to go in the first half, but used four points from Joseph and a jumper from sophomore guard Dion Waiters, respectively, to take a 28-25 lead into halftime.
Sophomore guard Brandon Triche was the only other SU player that scored in double-digits (11), while the Orange's second-leading scorer, Waiters, tallied just two points and played very little in the second half. Southerland provided a solid spark of the bench chipping in with seven points and seven rebounds.
Despite making just 2 of 15 3-point shots, SU finished the game shooting 46.4-percent from the floor.
Meanwhile, for the first time in over a month, Cincinnati was held under a total of 10 3-pointers (eight) and was outrebounded 36 to 35.
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