Syracuse tied a school record for the best start to a season on Saturday by extending their record to 19-0 with a 78-55 home win over Providence. The Orange, who never trailed in the game and moved to 6-0 in the Big East, finished a season sweep of the Friars (12-7, 1-5) in large part by ripping off 15 straight points in the first half to grab a commanding lead. SU’s defense once again was the driving force in the game, this time finishing with a dozen steals and ten blocked shots as they forced 22 turnovers and held Providence to 35.1 percent shooting in the game. The win also marked the 875th in the career of head coach Jim Boeheim, putting him one victory behind Adolph Rupp for fourth place all-time in Division I.
The Orange scored the first four points en route to taking a 10-2 lead less then four minutes into the game. Providence fought back, however, knotting the score at 12. The Friars’ tying bucket was the their last one for ten minutes, though, and Syracuse erupted for 15 consecutive points to stretch a 17-16 lead to a 32-16 margin. The SU defense was the driving force of that burst, forcing seven straight Providence turnovers followed by four missed shots. The visitors got within 14 points twice, but the Orange got a three-pointer two seconds before the buzzer for a 38-21 halftime lead.
Syracuse came out firing in the second half, as well, scoring the first six points of the session to ignite a 15-4 run and take a 53-25 lead less than five minutes into the second half. The Orange stretched their lead out to 29 a few minutes later, then expanded it to its greatest point at 62-32 with just over eight minutes left. The Friars surged back with a 19-5 run to get within 67-51, but it was far too late. SU pushed back from there, outscoring the guests 11-4 before the final buzzer.
Kris Joseph paced the Orange with 13 points in the game. Dion Waiters added a dozen points while Scoop Jardine just fell short of a double-double by finishing with ten points (all in the first half) and nine assists. Mookie Jones was the fourth Syracuse player in double figures, scoring ten points in just eight minutes of action. Fab Melo blocked four shots while Waiters had four steals and C.J. Fair had three.
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