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01/21/2013 8:00 PM EST
Fair, No. 3 Syracuse edge No. 21 Cincinnati 57-55
SYRACUSE 57, CINCINNATI 55
By JOHN KEKIS
AP Sports Writer
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -- With Cincinnati and Syracuse tied and the
clock ticking down in the final minute, the Orange's Jerami
Grant drove the lane, and when his shot didn't fall arms flailed
all around the rim trying to corral the ball.
Somehow, it trickled in with 19.4 seconds left and No. 3
Syracuse escaped with a 57-55 victory over No. 21 Cincinnati on
Monday, its second scintillating win in three days.
"We didn't want to lose," said Michael Carter-Williams, whose
dagger 3-pointer from the top of the key tied it at 55-all with
80 seconds left. "None of us like losing. We wanted to do
anything to win that game. We picked up our intensity and our
energy. We should have found that in the first half."
Syracuse had trailed by seven points with just over 5 minutes
left, rallying for the victory in the final minute just as it
had at then-No. 1 Louisville on Saturday in a 70-68 win.
Carter-Williams had a go-ahead 3-pointer with 5:28 remaining,
and his steal and slam dunk put the lid on that one as the
Orange beat the Cardinals.
"Louisville was a tough, gritty game. We're banged-up and sore,"
Carter-Williams said. "To come back one day later and beat
Cincinnati is a great feeling. We were a little fatigued. Now we
get some rest."
C.J. Fair was credited with the game-winning tip but admitted
afterward he wasn't sure who hit the ball.
"There were bodies down there and the ball just went in the
hoop," Fair said. "I just raised my hand. I thought I did it,
but maybe I got help. I don't know."
The Orange outscored the Bearcats 13-4 over the final minutes
and Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin wore a frown after his team's
third loss this season by two points or less.
"It was a batted ball in the air by three guys - two of their
guys and one of our guys - that just happened to go in the
basket," Cronin said. "I'm not giving him a tip-in, not when our
guys were trying to hit it the other way. Stuff happens. We
didn't get the stops defensively down the stretch. We got
Cincinnati's Cashmere Wright missed a 3 from straight on with
2.9 seconds left, allowing the Orange to escape with their 35th
straight win at home, the longest active streak in Division I.
Syracuse (18-1, 6-0 Big East), tied for third in the rankings
with Kansas, is the only Big East team with an unblemished
conference record and is 28-1 in regular-season play in the Big
East the past two seasons, that lone loss coming at Notre Dame
exactly one year ago Monday.
The Bearcats (16-4, 4-3) had won straight. They lost on the road
for the first time in eight games.
Carter-Williams had 16 points and seven assists and Brandon
Triche had 13 points for the Orange.
Wright, who sprained his right knee Tuesday in a win over DePaul
and did not play in Cincinnati's overtime victory against
Marquette on Saturday, finished with five points on 2-for-13
shooting. He was 1 of 8 on 3s.
Sean Kilpatrick led Cincinnati with 21 points and JaQuon Parker
Syracuse's James Southerland, tied for second on the team in
scoring at 13.6 points per game, missed his third straight game
because of an eligibility issue. He was in street clothes on the
Cincinnati played the shot-clock game with its deliberate
half-court approach and kept the game close despite a poor
shooting performance in the opening half.
Trailing by just a basket at the break, the Bearcats started the
second half with a 12-2 spurt keyed by consecutive 3-pointers
from Parker when he was left unguarded in the right corner.
A high-arcing 3 by Kilpatrick was the fourth make in five tries
from long range for the Bearcats and gave them a 36-29 lead with
Carter-Williams responded with seven straight points, his 3 from
the top of the key making it 36-all midway through the half.
Kilpatrick's sixth 3-pointer of the game and a layup by Cheikh
Mbodj completed an 11-4 spurt that gave the Bearcats a 49-42
lead with 5:44 left.
Triche, who helped boost Syracuse at Louisville with 23 points,
then hit two straight jumpers and fed Grant for a slam dunk to
draw the Orange within 54-50 with 3:17 left.
After hitting 5 of 7 from behind the arc against Louisville to
keep Syracuse in the game in the first half on Saturday, Triche
was 1 of 6 from long range against the Bearcats and wasn't
nearly so effective until the game was on the line.
"We're going to need him to do that," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim
said of Triche. "He's got to think that way. He's proven he can
do it. He's got to take it to another level."
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