SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Syracuses Jim Boeheim is just like any coach – lose a couple of conference games and its time to start looking for those worry beads.
No need to search anymore.
C.J. Fair had 18 points and 10 rebounds, freshman Jerami Grant scored a season-high 14 points, and No. 9 Syracuse beat No. 25 Notre Dame 63-47 on Monday night to snap a two-game losing streak that had dropped the Orange three spots in the rankings.
This was a big win, Boeheim said. Obviously, Notre Dame beat us last year. When you lose two games in a row in this league, you get nervous. Everybody does. This is a real good bounce-back win.
Syracuse (19-3, 7-2 Big East), which was coming off consecutive road losses against Villanova and Pittsburgh, has only three conference losses in its last 32 Big East games. Notre Dame (18-5, 6-4) had won three straight.
It was the first meeting between the teams since the Irish handed unbeaten and No. 1 Syracuse its only conference loss, 67-58 at Purcell Pavilion last January.
The Syracuse defense clamped down on the Irish behind its front line of Fair, Jerami Grant and Rakeem Christmas, who combined for 44 points, six blocks, and 21 rebounds. They also teamed to help limit the touches of Notre Dame big man Jack Cooley in the middle and the Oranges perimeter defenders held their own against the Irish sharpshooters.
The 6-foot-9, 246-pound Cooley, a major force as the Irish outrebounded the Orange by 13 in last years game, finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds, his 15th double-double of the season.
Notre Dame finished 6 of 20 on three-pointers, shot 34.6 percent (18 of 52) for the game, and was outrebounded 32-28. The Irish also matched their season low for points. They also were held to 47 in a home loss two weeks ago to Georgetown.
Weve got to make some more of those shots to escape here, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. When weve had success against them, weve made more threes. But thats not necessarily us missing. They have such length because their guards are so big this year. They come out and close out. Its a rough shot.
Jerian Grant, Jeramis brother, finished with 15 points to lead the Irish. The game was the first in college between the Grant brothers.
No. 23 PITTSBURGH 56, SETON HALL 46: In Pittsburgh, Lamar Patterson scored 11 points and the Panthers (19-5, 7-4 Big East) pulled away late and won for the sixth time in their past seven games.
Fuquan Edwin led the Pirates (13-10, 2-8) with 23 points but was slowed after injuring his right ankle midway through the second half.
No. 8 PENN ST. 69, No. 13 PURDUE 61: In State College, Pa., Maggie Lucas scored 17 points, and the Lady Lions (18-3, 8-1) withstood a second-half rally with defense to reclaim sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.
Courtney Moses (21 points) scored six points in a 13-second span to get the Boilermakers (18-4, 7-2) within 67-61 with 1:05 left, but Alex Bentley helped Penn State hold on with a bucket and steal.
Drew Mingo added 13 points for Purdue, while Sam Ostarello had 13 rebounds including 12 on the defensive end.