The Syracuse Orange defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 63-47, Monday night, ending their first losing streak of the year in impressive fashion.
The No. 9 Orange jumped out to a 10-0 lead, but the No. 25 Irish promptly countered with an 11-0 surge of their own.
After those two blows were exchanged, Syracuse began to systematically take control of the game. The Orange brought a six-point lead into halftime and extended that buffer to double digits only three minutes into the second frame.
Things were rough-and-tumble throughout, with both teams finding much more success on the defensive end than the offensive. Though Syracuse was led by star player C.J. Fair (18 points, 10 rebounds), it was freshman Jerami Grant, who scored a career-high 14 points to go with six rebounds, that often stole the show.
Notre Dame was led, appropriately, by Jerami's older brother, Jerian, who finished with a team-high 15. All-American candidate Jack Cooley finished with a double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds), but struggled to get involved throughout.
The win brings Syracuse to 7-2 in Big East play, out of a first-place tie with Marquette and back into sole possession of the top spot.
Notre Dame falls to 6-4 in the conference with the loss, into a three-way tie for seventh with Pittsburgh and St. John's.
Right before tipoff, ESPN Stats & Info tweeted about how unfriendly the Carrier Dome has been to road opponents:
#NDvsCUSE on ESPN -- Syracuse enters with 35 straight home wins, the longest active win streak in Division I— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 5, 2013
USA Today writer Dan Wolken poked fun at Notre Dame's uniforms, which he found ridiculous:
Notre Dame basically looks like they're playing in Celtics practice jerseys. Someone put a stop to this. (and get off my lawn)— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) February 5, 2013
Notre Dame beat writer Brian Hamilton questioned Notre Dame's inability to get Jack Cooley any shots...
...Which was particularly confusing when taking this stat from ESPN Stats & Info into consideration:
Notre Dame is 13-0 when Jack Cooley scores at least 19 points— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 2, 2013
After a great play from Syracuse's Grant to end the first half, CBS Sports writer Jeff Goodman tweeted some complimentary words:
LOVE Jerami Grant. My updated Top 101 NBA Draft Board tomorrow and his ranking will shock many.— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanCBS) February 5, 2013
Local news anchor and blogger Chris Veraldi tweeted some astute insight into Syracuse's minute-to-minute inconsistency:
Some moments this #Syracuse team looks so crisp, so good... sometimes it looks so lost, so poor. Sometimes we see both within minutes...— Chris Velardi (@cvelardi) February 5, 2013
While South Bend news anchor Angelo Di Carlo, like so many others around the country, lamented just how boring this game was:
It's Syracuse (my alma mater) vs Notre Dame (the school I'ce covered for six years) and I just fell asleep on the couch. #snoozer— Angelo Di Carlo (@angdicarlowndu) February 5, 2013
The Orange start a four-game stretch against unranked opponents Sunday, Feb. 10, when they host the St. John's Red Storm.
Notre Dame, meanwhile, travels home for another tough game against the No. 11 Louisville Cardinals on Saturday, Feb. 9.