NEW YORK, Sporting Alert – Syracuse jumped out to an early lead and then held off the challenges of No. 25 Notre Dame en route to an 81-66 win over the Fighting Irish at Carrier Dome on Thursday night. Box Score | Highlights
After falling behind 5-0 in the opening minutes of the game, the Orange went on a 21-1 run to take a 44-27 lead at halftime to setup the Atlantic Coast Conference home victory.
Trevor Cooney, who hit 5-straight shots in the first half, went on to score 22 points and led four Syracuse (14-8, 4-5 ACC) players in double figures.
“Offensively, Trevor got us going in the first half,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. “He got wide-open looks.
“The whole key to this game was going to be defense. I thought we stepped up defensively. We made them take tough shots. It starts with our defense. That’s the difference for us.”
Tyler Lydon had 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting, 3-of-6 from 3-point range, and pulled down 10 rebounds and two steals off the bench, while Malachi Richardson, who went 4-of-7 from the field and 3-of-4 from long-range, and Michael Gbinije — each had 15 points as well for the Orange, who led by as many as 23-points in the game.
Tyler Roberson grabbed nine points and nine rebounds for Syracuse, which shot 45.9 percent from the field in earning its fourth straight win over Notre Dame, and the sixth in their last seven meetings with the Fighting Irish.
V.J. Beachem scored 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting and 5-of-8 from 3-pointers to lead Notre Dame (14-6, 5-3 ACC) which shot over 41 percent from 3-pointers and from the floor overall.
Steve Vasturia made three of his five 3-point attempts and scored 16 points, while Bonzie Colson ended with nine points and 10 rebounds for the Fighting Irish, who failed to secure their first road win over Syracuse since Jan. 30, 2007.
The Orange pretty much dominated in all areas, including outscoring Notre Dame 16-8 in the points off turns and 14-9 in second chance attempts.
“Syracuse is an NCAA team and obviously, with Jim back, they have that look,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said.
He added: “I think they’re a confident team. When you win at Wake and you win at Duke within three days, you have something to work with.
“No one wins at Virginia, so I wouldn’t even count that. They know they have a very important homestand, and they started off very focused and played really well.”