Junior guard Kemba Walker has scored a team-best 10 points for the No. 9-seeded Connecticut Huskies, who claim a 26-25 halftime lead over No. 4 seeded Syracuse Orange in a 2011 Big East Tournament semifinal contest at Madison Square Garden. The winner advances to play in the finals against No. 2 Notre Dame or No. 3 Louisville Cardinals, who play each other in the nightcap (9 p.m. on ESPN).
Freshman forward Tyler Olander has chipped in with seven points and four rebounds for UConn (No. 21 in the AP poll and No. 19 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll), who trailed 10-4 early in the first half, but used a 13-4 run to take a 17-16 advantage with 7:30 to go. From there, Syracuse (No. 11 in both college basketball polls) managed to keep it close and trial by just one point heading into the locker room.
Sophomore center Alex Oriakhi has chipped in with five point and five rebounds for UConn, which advanced to the semis with a 76-74, buzzer-beating victory over top-seeded Pittsburgh Panthers Thursday.
For Syracuse (26-6), Joseph finished the half with a team-best eight points, while red-shirt senior Scoop Jardine has five points. Sophomore guard Brandon Triche has just three points on 1-of-7 shooting for the Orange, who defeated No. 5 St. John's Red Storm, 79-73, in the quarterfinals on Thursday.