No. 7 Syracuse 70, Notre Dame 61

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP)—Jim Boeheim became the first coach with 300 Big East victories in the same manner he won many of the first 299—with Syracuse playing tough defense and coming through in the clutch.

Gerry McNamara had 22 points to lead the seventh-ranked Orange to a 70-61 victory over Notre Dame on Monday night, using a 14-0 run in the second half to overcome a six-point deficit.

Boeheim downplayed the milestone victory.

“That just means you’ve been around in this league for a long time,” he said.

The Irish led 57-51 when Josh Pace scored six points in a 14-0 run in which Syracuse repeatedly scored inside. Pace, who finished with 16 points, started it with a 10-foot jumper and Hakim Warrick, who was sitting with four fouls when the run began, added four of his 12 points during the spurt, including a dunk on an alley-oop pass from Billy Edelin.

“We played great defense down the stretch,” said McNamara, who sealed the victory with a 3-pointer with 65 seconds left.

Notre Dame (10-3, 2-1) was 0-for-7 from the field during the run with one turnover.

It was the ninth straight win for the Orange (16-1, 3-0) in their first game this season outside the state of New York. Boeheim was upset that so much was made about that, saying a trip to New York City, where the Orange went twice, was as much a road trip as some other teams played.

“The best teams are going to show up in the end of the season. It’s foolish to go out and play an impossible schedule,” he said.

It was the fourth straight win at Notre Dame for Syracuse, which had 11 steals, including seven by Edelin.

The loss ended Notre Dame’s winning streak at six games and prevented the Irish from going 3-0 in the league for the first time.

“We didn’t play good. I think that’s what it comes down to,” said Chris Thomas, who was 1-of-14 from the field and had five points. “We didn’t do what we were capable of on the offensive end.”

Boeheim has a 300-161 record in his 26th season in the conference. John Thompson, who coached at Georgetown for 20 seasons, is second on the career list with 231 wins. Jim Calhoun, in his 19th season at Connecticut, is second among active coaches with 221.

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey praised Boeheim.

“He’s great for the game of basketball,” he said. “We all appreciate him.”

The Irish trailed 38-34 at halftime and they opened the second half with an 8-0 run and twice led by eight points. They went ahead 57-51 when Chris Quinn, who had 13 points, hit a 3-pointer. But that’s when the Orange took control by making seven straight baskets as the Irish simply couldn’t stop them inside.

Warrick, who had four straight double-doubles against the Irish, struggled on Monday, going just 2-of-10 from the free throw line and finished with five rebounds. The Orange were just 10-of-24 from the free throw line, a season-low 27 percent. McNamara was 4-of-15 from 3-point range, the only Syracuse player to attempt a 3.

The Orange shot 50 percent from the field, though, including 56.5 percent in the second half.

Torin Francis had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Irish, while Colin Falls had 14 points. Thomas broke Pat Garrity’s school record with his 112th career start.

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Top Performers

 Top Performers
G. McNamara G. McNamara
7-21,  22 Pts
3 Rebs, 5 Assists
 Notre Dame
C. Thomas C. Thomas
1-14,  5 Pts
7 Rebs, 8 Assists

Team Stat Leaders