Hours after Syracuse ascended to the top ranking in the
Associated Press poll, guard Trevor Cooney dropped in a career-high
33 points to carry the Orange past Notre Dame 61-55 in front of
25,850 fans in the Carrier Dome.
Cooney sank nine 3-pointers, tying the school record held by James
Southerland, Andy Rautins and Gerry McNamara. He missed just three
attempts from beyond the arc and finished 11-for-15 from floor
"I got into a rhythm early," Cooney said. "To shoot like that, you
have to get into a good rhythm. I just kind of got going, and guys
Syracuse needed every bit of Cooney's offense. No other Syracuse
player reached double figure in points, and the team's leading
scorer, forward C.J. Fair, was held to six points on 2-of-13
shooting. Overall, Syracuse shot just 21-for-47 (44.7 percent) from
"Trevor must have got the message early that we're not going to play
well and he had to make shots," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "It
was just one of those games where we were not sharp at all."
The Orange (22-0, 9-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) topped the Fighting
Irish (12-11, 3-7) in the first meeting as ACC foes between the
former Big East rivals.
Center Garrick Sherman paced Notre Dame with 16 points, and guard
Steve Vasturia added 13.
Forty-eight hours earlier, the Orange held off Duke 91-89 in an epic
showdown in the Dome. Notre Dame tested Syracuse for signs of a
letdown, and the Orange struggled to adjust. Syracuse enjoyed
playing at a fast pace against the Blue Devils, but the Irish slowed
the game down and focused on denying the inside games of Fair and
forward Jerami Grant (nine points).
"We just did not adjust well," Boeheim said. "You have to find ways
to win these games, and we were able to do that."
Irish coach Mike Brey said, "We put ourselves in a position to make
it interesting. With the guys who destroy you in the paint, I think
we did a pretty good job. We just couldn't do a good enough job on
Cooney shredded the Irish's zone in the first half and found enough
of the right answers against Notre Dame's man-to-man in the second
to keep Syracuse safe.
Notre Dame trailed by 10 points at halftime but crawled within 43-40
with 8:46 remaining in the second half. Grant sank a jumper with
6:40 remaining, and Cooney hit a 3-pointer with 5:49 left to boost
the margin to 48-40.
"I just wanted to be aggressive today, no matter what it was,"
Cooney said. "I just have to continue to do that."
Fair then stole the ball and dished to Cooney for layup. Cooney was
fouled on the play and made the free throw for a 51-41 Orange
advantage with 5:05 left.
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Vasturia countered with a 3-pointer to pull the Irish within 51-44,
but Cooney sank another trey with 4:29 left to pump the difference
back up to 10.
The Irish didn't get closer than five points for the rest of the
"You have to play the percentages," Sherman said. "You don't want
Fair and Grant dribbling down the lane all night, but he (Cooney)
made us pay tonight. Props to him."
The Orange took a 31-18 lead into halftime, appropriately scoring
the final points when Cooney swished a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Cooney, who scored 17 points in the first 20 minutes, heated up to
spark a 13-0 Orange run. He sank a 3-pointer to tie the score at 12,
then hit another a little more than two minutes later for a 15-12
"It was his half," Boeheim said. "He kept us to where we had the
Cooney's marksmanship sent the Orange ahead 18-12 with 7:49 left
before the break, and he mixed in a 2-pointer with 6:05 left for an
eight-point margin. Fair joined the fun with a jumper that extended
the lead to 10.
Syracuse made six of nine first-half 3-point attempts, with Cooney
going 5-for-7 from long range.
Boeheim knows what is coming his way next for the sophomore.
"It means that every team now will not let him get his shot,"
Boeheim said. "People will look at this tape, and Trevor will not
have breathing room the next few games."
NOTES: Syracuse was ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 for the
88th consecutive poll. ... The last time Notre Dame beat the Orange,
Syracuse was ranked No. 1 in the country. That was a 67-58 decision
on Jan. 21, 2012, at Notre Dame. ... Irish G Jerian Grant, brother
of Syracuse F Jerami Grant, left school in late December because of
an academic issue. Jerian Grant hopes to re-enroll in the spring.
... Notre Dame lost its first five road games of a season for the
first time since beginning 0-8 on the road in 1993-94. The Irish's
previous five-game road losing streak came during the 2009-10
season. ... G/F Pat Connaughton has never missed a game during his
Fighting Irish career. He has played in all 92 games, including 76
starts, 73 of them in a row. .... Connaughton played every minute
Monday for the fourth time in five games.
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