Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Orange Feeling at Home in Win Syracuse Beats Irish for 36th in a Row at Carrier Dome

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Orange Feeling at Home in Win Syracuse Beats Irish for 36th in a Row at Carrier Dome

Article excerpt

SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Syracuse's Jim Boeheim is just like any coach - - lose a couple of conference games and it's time to start looking for those worry beads.

No need to search anymore.

C.J. Fair had 18 points and 10 rebounds, freshman Jerami Grant scored a season-high 14 points, and No. 9 Syracuse beat No. 25 Notre Dame, 63-47, Monday night to snap a two-game losing streak that had dropped the Orange three spots in the rankings.

"This was a big win," Boeheim said. "Obviously, Notre Dame beat us last year. When you lose two games in a row in this league, you get nervous. Everybody does. This is a real good bounce-back win."

Syracuse (19-3, 7-2), which was coming off consecutive road losses against Villanova and Pitt, has only three conference losses in its past 32 Big East games and has won a school-record 36 consecutive games at home, the longest active streak in Division I. Notre Dame (18-5, 6-4) had won three in a row.

It was the first meeting between the teams since the Irish handed Syracuse its only conference loss last season, 67-58 at Purcell Pavilion last January.

The Orange, unbeaten at the time and ranked No. 1, were missing shot-blocking, 7-foot center Fab Melo in that game because of an academic issue, and on Monday night, senior James Southerland, the team's most consistent outside threat and third-leading scorer, missed his sixth game in a row because of an academic eligibility matter related to academics.

Gone, too, from the Orange lineup was 6-foot-9, 288-pound freshman forward Dajuan Coleman, out for a month after knee surgery.

On this night, it didn't matter as the Syracuse defense clamped down behind its front line of Fair, Jerami Grant and Rakeem Christmas, who combined for 44 points, 6 blocks, and 21 rebounds. They also teamed to help limit the touches of Notre Dame big man Jack Cooley in the middle, and the Orange's perimeter defenders held their own against the Irish sharpshooters. …

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