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Syracuse having little trouble keeping its focus

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — No. 3 Syracuse won again at home, and nobody asked about that big distraction.

Indeed, it seemed like just another night for Orange coach Jim Boeheim.


Dion Waiters had 15 points and Kris Joseph 11 and eight rebounds as the Orange continued to win amid a federal investigation, outlasting Marshall 62-56 at the Carrier Dome on Tuesday night behind a solid defensive effort.

"It just seemed like another game, another game at the dome, another home game, and we won," Joseph said. "We just want to keep winning, protect our home court."

It was the third game for Syracuse (9-0) since former associate head coach Bernie Fine was fired after allegations by three men, two of them former Orange ballboys, that he sexually molested them as minors. Fine has maintained his innocence and no charges have been filed.

Boeheim figured the Thundering Herd, which beat Cincinnati of the Big East in overtime on the road, would offer a tough challenge for the Orange.

He was right. But Scoop Jardine helped down the stretch, finishing with 10 points, five rebounds and four assists as the Orange became the first Big East team to get to nine wins.

The media spotlight has dimmed in the three weeks since the allegations against Fine surfaced.

"There wasn't a lot of media there, and there's not a lot of media outside" the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center, where the team practices, Jardine said. "We can be focused on basketball … not that we (weren't)."

Meanwhile, an upstate New York district attorney said he will speak publicly about the allegations against Fine. Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said he'll speak with the media today.

NO. 4 UNC 97, EVANSVILLE 48: Harrison Barnes had 17 points and Reggie Bullock 15 off the bench for the host Tar Heels (7-2), who bounced back from their loss at top-ranked Kentucky.

NO. 10 MISSOURI 81, VILLANOVA 71: Marcus Denmon made six 3-pointers and scored 28 for the Tigers (8-0) in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden.

NO. 11 MARQUETTE 79, WASHINGTON 77: Jae Crowder hit the winning 3-pointer with six seconds left to help the Golden Eagles (8-0) avoid an upset in the Jimmy V Classic.

NO. 13 KANSAS 88, LONG BEACH ST. 80: Thomas Robinson had a career-high 26 points and 11 rebounds, Jeff Withey came within a block of a triple double and the host Jayhawks (6-2) held on after blowing a 19-point first-half lead.

NO. 15 PITT 97, VMI 70: Ashton Gibbs had 20 points for the host Panthers (8-1), who won their sixth straight by shooting 49 percent from the floor and hitting a season-high 13 3-pointers.

NO. 21 MEMPHIS 71, MIAMI 54: Sophomore Will Barton had career highs of 27 points and 14 rebounds to help the visiting Tigers (5-2) overcome 1-of-12 3-point shooting and snap a streak of 27 non-conference home victories by the Hurricanes (5-3).

UCLA: Reeves Nelson was suspended indefinitely for the second time. Coach Ben Howland said the junior forward, who laughed on the bench during a loss to Texas, displayed conduct unbecoming a member of the team.

VANDERBILT: Center Festus Ezeli, out since spraining ligaments in his right knee six weeks ago, practiced with his teammates for the second straight day and is expected to play tonight.


NO. 2 UCONN 81, NO. 8 TEXAS A&M 51: Tiffany Hayes and Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had 14 points each as the Huskies (8-0) routed the defending national champion Aggies (6-2) in the Jimmy V Classic. UConn won its 91st straight home game.

NO. 14 GEORGIA 80, MERCER 43: Jasmine Hassell had 16 points for the visiting Bulldogs (8-1), who outscored the Bears 52-6 in the paint.

NO. 17 PENN ST. 66, VA. TECH 28: Maggie Lucas had 20 points for the host Nittany Lions (7-2), and Alex Bentley had 11 to reach 1,000 for her career.

Syracuse having little trouble keeping its focus 12/06/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 12:12am]
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