With the top two teams in the nation falling earlier in the day, #3 Syracuse perhaps iced a rise to the top spot in the nation by routing George Washington at the Carrier Dome, 85-50. The outcome of the contest was never in doubt as the Orange (10-0) jumped out to an early lead and never looked back against the Colonials (4-5). SU dominated the game in almost all facets, turning 18 turnovers into 34 points and holding the visitors to 30.6 percent shooting from the field while connecting on half their shots in the contest.
A technical free throw got things started for Syracuse, who scored the first seven points of the game. After a George Washington basket, the Orange tacked on six more points for their first double-figure lead of the night at 13-2 just over five minutes into the game. The Colonials hung tough for the next couple minutes, getting the margin down to nine on three occasions, but SU put together an 8-2 burst to stretch their lead to 29-14 just past the midpoint of the opening session. GW snipped the margin down to ten, but Syracuse blasted them with a 14-2 run to go up by a 45-23 margin. A Colonial basket sent the game to halftime with the Orange up 20.
George Washington started the second half with an 8-2 run to get within 14 points, but SU responded shortly after with a 19-3 barrage to blow the game wide open at 69-38 with under nine minutes on the clock. The Colonials used a 9-2 run to get within two dozen, but the Orange closed the game on a 14-3 spurt that gave them their largest lead of the night at the final horn.
Dion Waiters set a couple personal bests in the game, scoring 19 points (on 8-of-11 shooting) and collecting six steals, both game highs. Kris Joseph chipped in with nine points while C.J. Fair, Scoop Jardine. Fab Melo, and Brandon Triche each added eight. Joseph led the Orange with eight rebounds and Melo blocked three shots while Michael Carter-Williams topped the team with eight assists, the best mark of his first season in orange.