The No. 2-ranked Syracuse Orange will try to move one step closer to a Big East Conference regular-season title Sunday, as they hit the road to face the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in a men's basketball game at a soldout Rutgers Athletic Center. The Orange (26-1, 13-1 Big East) are searching for their seventh straight victory, while the Scarlet Knights (12-14, 4-9) are looking to snap a four-game skid.
Syracuse hasn't played in six days when it earned a scrappy 52-51 victory over the No. 19 Louisville Cardinals Monday. Sophomore forward C.J. Fair tallied a team-best 13 points including the game-winning bucket with 2:12 remaining in regulation to help the Orange overcome a terrible shooting night (1-for-15 from 3-point range).
The win allowed the first-place Syracuse to hold onto their 2 1/2 game lead in the Big East standings, which features the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Marquette Golden Eagles in second place.
Senior forward Kris Joseph is the Orange's leading scorer averaging 14.0 points per game, while sophomore guard Dion Waiters is coming off the bench to tally 12.2 ppg. Sophomore center Fabricio Melo is the team's top rebounder (5.4 per game) and shot blocker (3.0 per game).
Meanwhile, Rutgers will be trying to earn its third top-10 victory of the season at the RAC. Already this year, the Scarlet Knights have defeated the No. 14 (then No. 10) Florida Gators and (then No. 10) Connecticut Huskies at home, but hasn't beaten the Orange in their last 10 contest. The last victory over SU came in '02-03 at the RAC, 68-85, when Herve Laminza banked home a 3-pointer near the end of regulation.
Freshman point guard Eli Carter enters Sunday's contest pacing Rutgers in scoring averaging 14.8 ppg, while freshman Myles Mack is coming off the bench and averaging 11.2 ppg. Junior guard Dan Miller is the team's leading rebounder collecting 6.9 per game while posting 9.1 ppg.
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