SYRACUSE (WBNG BINGHAMTON) C.J. Fair scored 19 points to help No. 1 Syracuse (23-0, 10-0 ACC) take a 57-44 victory over Clemson (15-7, 6-4 ACC) on Sunday evening at the Carrier Dome. The win extended SU's unbeaten streak to 23 games, tying the school record.
Jerami Grant contributed 12 points and eight rebounds while Trevor Cooney added 11 to the scoreboard. K.J. McDaniels led Clemson with 19 points and 10 rebounds, the only Tiger in double-figure scoring.
Syracuse shot 44.4 percent (24-54) from the field and held Clemson to 34.1 percent (14-41) overall shooting including just 27.3 percent (6-22) in the first half.
'Cuse dominated in the post, outscoring the Tigers 32-14 in the paint. The Orange also capitalized on Clemson's 13 turnovers, scoring 16 points due to Tiger errors. Syracuse committed just five turnovers, tying its season low.
Grant opened Syracuse scoring on a dunk to tie the game at 2-2. SU and Clemson exchanged baskets and then the Orange went on a 6-0 run that ended with a Tyler Ennis put-back to take a 10-4 lead. After Clemson's McDaniels hit a 3-pointer to regain a Tiger advantage, Fair sunk a long-range jumper to put Syracuse up 12-11, a lead it would not give up for the remainder of the game.
Syracuse went on a 9-4 run over the next 5:04 but the score remained close and the Orange wouldn't lead by more than five in the stretch. SU started to pull away at the end of the half, going on a 9-0 run over the final 4:22 to take a 31-22 lead going into the locker room. The run was started by a Cooney 3-pointer and ended with a Fair layup in the final seconds of the half. Grant contributed four points during the SU scoring spurt.
SU steadily extended its lead to open the second stanza, which grew to a 12-point advantage 4:19 into the half. The Tigers clawed back to make it a five-point game over the next 4:55 but Fair scored four straight points and allowed Clemson just three over 6:27, giving 'Cuse a 50-40 advantage.
With 2:04 left in the game, Cooney hit a deep three to give Syracuse a 15-point lead, its largest of the night. Clemson would score once more before the game was through but the Orange controlled the ball for the closing minute to seal its victory.
SU is back in action on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. when the Orange travels to Pittsburgh for a showdown on ESPN.
(Courtesy: Syracuse University)