Senior point guard Scoop Jardine scored 12 of his 16 points in the second half and dished out seven assists Friday night to help the Syracuse University men's basketball program defeat the University of Florida, 72-68, in a top 10, non-conference showdown at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. The Orange (8-0), who are ranked No. 3 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll and No. 4 in the AP Poll, used a 13-4 run, which included seven points from Jardine, to take a 62-53 lead with 2:34 remaining in the game to help stay unbeaten. Jardine also surpassed the 1,000-point mark in his collegiate career.
Junior guard Brandon Triche chipped in with a team-best 20 points for Syracuse.
Junior guard Kenny Boynton netted a team-best 22 points for the Gators (5-2), who entered the game ranked No. 9 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll and No. 10 in the AP Poll. Florida dropped to 0-2 against top 5 opponents this year.
Syracuse, which led 31-27 at halftime, used a quick 8-3 run, capped by a Triche layup with 16:39 reaming in the game, to take a 39-30 lead. However, behind a string of hot 3-point shooting, which featured Florida nailing five of its next six shot from behind the arc, three from Boynton, the Gators took a brief 49-46 advantage with 9:19 to go.
But, Syracuse quickly answered with a Triche 3-ball and a defensive stop that led to senior forward Kris Joseph flushing a dunk in transition, which gave the Orange a 51-49 advantage with 8:44 remaining. From there, Jardine took over and helped SU hang on for the victory.
SB Nation New York blogged from press row at the Carrier Dome Friday night, as the Syracuse Orange beat the Florida Gators. Be sure to check out, SB Nation's Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician for everything SU, while Alligator Army has the inside track on the Gators. Follow along on Twitter at SBNationNY or JaredSmithCNY.