Big East Conference coaches should have been taking notes Saturday night, as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish put on a clinic on how to beat the No. 1-ranked Syracuse Orange, who was upset, 67-58, at the Joyce Center in South Bend, IN. The Irish (12-8, 4-3 Big East) nailed eight of their 16 3-pointers, outrebounded the Orange 34 to 21 and got a collegiate-best performance from junior forward Jack Cooley (17 points and 10 rebounds) to hand Syracuse its first loss of the season.
Senior guard Scott Martin added 13 points for the Irish, who knocked off a No. 1-ranked team at home for the seventh time in program history.
"We did a fabulous job of controlling tempo," said Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey after the game. "We really defended well, we got to every 50-50 ball. I am really thrilled for this group."
Junior forward James Southerland scored a team-best 15 points for the Orange (20-1, 7-1), who was missing their starting center, Fab Melo, do to "an unresolved academic issue from the first semester." SU trailed by as much as 18 points in the first half and got to within six points with with about a minute to go, but couldn't complete the comeback.
Senior forward Kris Joseph added 14 points for Syracuse, which trailed 35-23 at halftime.
Overall, Syracuse finished the game shooting just 19-for-54 (35.2-percent) from the floor and 7-for-23 from behind the 3-point line.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame shot 20-for-40 from the field, including 19 of 27 from the free throw line, while sophomore guard Jerian Grant chipped in with 11 points.
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