Syracuse defeats Notre Dame, improves to 22-0
The Associated PressFirst published Feb 03 2014 11:29PM
Syracuse, N.Y. • Trevor Cooney scored a career-high 33 points, matching a school record with nine 3-pointers, and top-ranked Syracuse beat Notre Dame 61-55 on Monday night in another matchup of former Big East foes.
Syracuse (22-0, 9-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), which moved to No. 1 this week after its scintillating 91-89 overtime victory over Duke on Saturday night, extended its school record for most consecutive wins to start a season. Notre Dame (12-11, 3-7) has lost seven of nine.
Two days after one of the most emotional wins in Boeheim’s 38 years as head coach, Syracuse played its first game as the nation’s top team since the 2011-12 season. Two years ago, the Orange were unbeaten and ranked No. 1 when they went to South Bend, and Notre Dame upset them 67-58.
It was the eighth time Notre Dame had beaten a No. 1 team and turned out to be Syracuse’s lone loss of the regular season.
Cooney made sure there was no repeat, hitting five 3-pointers in the first half as the Orange gained a 13-point halftime advantage and barely held the Irish at bay in the second half.
No. 6 Villanova 81, Xavier 58 • In Villanova, Pa., James Bell hit six 3-pointers and scored 27 points and Darrun Hilliard had 17 to lead Villanova to a win over Xavier. The Wildcats (20-2, 8-1 Big East) never trailed and have won four straight games since a 28-point loss to No. 12 Creighton on Jan. 20.