Syracuse, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Second-ranked Syracuse scored 20 straight points to erase an 18-point first-half deficit en route to a 78-62 triumph over No. 8 Villanova Saturday before 28,315 fans at Carrier Dome.
With the victory over its former Big East rival, Syracuse remained undefeated for the season as the Orange ran their record to 12-0.
The Wildcats stunned the crowd when they took a 25-7 advantage with over 10 minutes left in the first half.
However, Trevor Cooney started the comeback with a triple and two foul shots while CJ Fair added a slam and a corner three-pointer. Cooney then nailed another triple to cut the deficit to 25-20.
Jerami Grant tied the game at 25 on a pair of free throws before Tyler Ennis gave Syracuse its first lead of the game with a drive to the basket.
The Orange held Villanova scoreless for seven and a half minutes during its 20-0 run in the first half.
Cooney scored 21 points on 5-for-8 shooting from beyond the arc, Ennis added 20 points, Fair had 17 and Grand contributed 11 for the Orange.
James Bell scored a game-high 25 points while Josh Hart added 10 as the Wildcats fell to 11-1.
This was the first time Syracuse and Villanova met since the Orange left the Big East for the ACC.
In the second half, Villanova fell behind by as many as 10 points but the Wildcats pulled to within 56-53 with seven minutes remaining.
Cooney then drained a crucial 3-pointer that boosted the Orange’s lead back to 59-53 and they were never threatened from there.