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Boeheim first to Big East milestone

Jim Boeheim became the first coach with 300 Big East victories in the same manner he won many of the first 299: with Syracuse playing tough defense and coming through in the clutch.

Gerry McNamara had 22 points for the seventh-ranked Orange, which used a 14-0 second-half run to overcome a six-point deficit and beat Notre Dame 70-61 Monday night.

Boeheim downplayed the milestone.

"That just means you've been around in this league for a long time," he said.

The Irish led 57-51 when Josh Pace scored six during the big run, in which Syracuse repeatedly scored inside. Pace, who finished with 16 points, started it with a 10-foot jumper, and Hakim Warrick, who was sitting with four fouls when the run began, added four of his 12 points, including a dunk on an alley-oop pass from Billy Edelin.

"We played great defense down the stretch," said McNamara, who sealed the victory with a 3-pointer with 65 seconds left.

Notre Dame was 0-for-7 from the field during the run and had one turnover.

The Orange won its ninth straight in its first game this season outside the state of New York. Boeheim was upset that so much was made about that, saying a trip to New York City, where the Orange went twice, was as much a road trip as some other teams played.

"The best teams are going to show up in the end of the season. It's foolish to go out and play an impossible schedule," he said.

Syracuse, which won its fourth straight at Notre Dame, had 11 steals, seven by Edelin.

Notre Dame's winning streak ended at six games, preventing the Irish from going 3-0 in the league for the first time.

"We didn't play good. I think that's what it comes down to," said Chris Thomas, who was 1-of-14 from the field and had five points. "We didn't do what we were capable of on the offensive end."

Boeheim has a 300-161 record in his 26th season in the conference. John Thompson, who coached at Georgetown for 20 seasons, is second on the career list with 231 wins. Jim Calhoun, in his 19th season at Connecticut, is second among active coaches with 221.

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