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Unfazed by the boisterous crowd of 26,508, the Hoyas hit their first four 3-pointers. They patiently passed the ball around the perimeter on each early possession, looking for someone to get open inside. When there were no openings, they began firing 3-pointers. Freeman hit from the left wing, the right corner and the top of the key, and Clark added another from the left wing.
After that, the Orange became more aggressive with their 2-3 zone and stormed back, never allowing the Hoyas to get any rhythm and denying the inside passes. Syracuse finished with 13 steals and eight blocks.
"No game is ever won in the first three minutes," Joseph said. "We knew we had a shot at coming back and winning. I thought, 'This is crazy, all 3s, all jumpers, nothing inside.' Once the fans started getting into it, it was a lot better."
After Jardine swished a 3 from the left wing, Rautins fed Joseph for a layup and then stole an inbounds pass and sent Brandon Triche off on a fast-break layup.
Jardine then scored six straight points, converting two layups and a pullup jumper to get Syracuse within two with 8:19 left in the opening half.
Rautins hit a pair of 3s, Triche fed Arinze Onuaku for a slam dunk, and Joseph finished the half with a pair of layups to give the Orange a 34-29 lead.
"We didn't give up," Rautins said. "I think it shows what kind of heart this team has."
The game marked the first time in 20 years that both teams were ranked in the top 10 when they met. The last time it happened was March 1990, and the 10th-ranked Orange beat No. 7 Georgetown 89-87 in overtime when Hoyas coach John Thompson was called for three technicals.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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