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Syracuse rights itself behind D

Syracuse freshman Jerami Grant tries to make a pass around Notre Dame defender Jerian Grant, his brother.

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Syracuse freshman Jerami Grant tries to make a pass around Notre Dame defender Jerian Grant, his brother.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Syracuse's Jim Boeheim is 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 and No. 9 Syracuse beat No. 25 Notre Dame 63-47 on Monday night to snap a two-game skid 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 Big East), which was coming off road losses to Villanova and Pittsburgh, has three losses in its past 32 Big East games and has won a school-record 36 straight at home, the longest active streak in Division I. Notre Dame (18-5, 6-4) had won three straight.

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 Monday night senior James Southerland, the team's most consistent outside threat and third-leading scorer, missed his sixth straight game because of an 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, six blocks, and 21 rebounds. They 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.

NO. 23 PITT 56, SETON HALL 46: Lamar Patterson scored 11 for the host Panthers (19-5, 7-4 Big East), who pulled away late for their sixth win in seven games.

NORTH CAROLINA: Coach Roy Williams said sophomore guard P.J. Hairston, who suffered a concussion last week at Boston College and missed Saturday's game against Virginia Tech, is doubtful for tonight's game against Wake Forest.

N.C. STATE: Coach Mark Gottfried said he doesn't know if junior point guard Lorenzo Brown, who sat out Saturday with a sprained left ankle, will be ready for Thursday's trip to No. 4 Duke.

Women

NO. 8 PENN ST. 69, NO. 13 PURDUE 61: Maggie Lucas had 17 points for the host Lions (18-3, 8-1), who withstood a second-half rally by the Boilermakers (18-4, 7-2) to reclaim sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.

NO. 14 TEXAS A&M 74, LSU 57: Kelsey Bone scored 21 as the visiting Aggies (18-5, 8-1 SEC) won their sixth consecutive game.

NO. 3 UCONN: Backup point guard Brianna Banks, a sophomore, will miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right leg.

AP POLL: Baylor remained No. 1 for a fifth straight week. Syracuse entered at No. 24, its first appearance in two years. Iowa dropped out.

Syracuse rights itself behind D 02/04/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 12:02am]
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