SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Over the past two weeks, Providence defeated two ranked teams: then-No. 17 Cincinnati on Feb. 6, and then-No. 21 Notre Dame on Saturday.
That streak came to a crashing halt Wednesday night, when No. 8 Syracuse walloped the Friars 84-59 in the final regular-season game between the two charter members of the Big East Conference before 23,717 fans at the Carrier Dome.
Syracuse's James Southerland scored 14 points in a 31-4 run that closed the first half and ended the Friars' upset bid.
Providence hasn't defeated a ranked team on the road in 27 tries since a 66-56 victory over Connecticut on Jan. 24, 2004.
The Orange shot 63 percent (17-for-27), including 67 percent from 3-point range (4-for-6), in the first half as it blitzed a Providence defense that had limited its previous four opponents to 37 percent shooting and 55 points per game.
"We really had good offensive movement, and when we got open shots, we made them," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "The first half, you couldn't play much better than that."
C.J. Fair paced the Orange with 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Michael Carter-Williams added 15 points and 12 assists. Southerland had 20 points, and Brandon Triche chipped in with 14 as Syracuse shot 57 percent (30-for-53) for the game.
The Orange (22-4, 10-3 Big East) is tied for first place in the conference with No. 11 Georgetown and No. 17 Marquette, and Syracuse will face the Hoyas twice and Golden Eagles once in its final five games of the regular season.
Syracuse also stretched its home winning streak to 38, which is the longest in the nation and an ongoing Carrier Dome record. The Orange, which defeated the Friars 72-66 on Jan. 9 at Providence, has a seven-game winning streak against Providence and leads the all-time series 48-10.
The loss snapped the Friars' four-game winning streak -- their first four-game streak in the Big East since 2004. At 14-12 and 6-8 in the Big East, Providence will need to win its final four regular-season games and one or two Big East tournament games to have a shot for its first NCAA Tournament berth since 2004.
"We have to have amnesia about it," Providence's LaDontae Henton said. "We should have come out hard and matched their intensity, but we didn't do that. They broke our winning streak, and now we have to start another one."
Henton had 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Friars, and Vincent Council had 15 points and seven assists. Bryce Cotton, who entered the game as the Big East's leading scorer at 20.4 points per game, finished with 10 points.
The Orange led 43-16 at the half. The score was tied at 12 midway through the first half, but Syracuse finished the half on a roll.
"It's hard to play that much better," Fair said. "For us to close the first half out like that, it gave us a good push for the second half."
Southerland scored 14 points on 6-for-7 shooting during that impressive run as he nearly matched the Friars' first-half scoring output. Fair had nine points during the spurt, while backup guard Trevor Cooney, who did not play in the Orange's last game against Seton Hall, added a pair of baskets.
"I thought our players, when we missed shots, it affected our emotion," Friars coach Ed Cooley said. "Everybody who missed a shot kind of shrugged their shoulders."
The Friars chipped away at Syracuse's lead at the start of the second half, but back-to-back dunks by Orange center Rakeem Christmas boosted Syracuse's lead back to 62-36 midway through the second half.
"You've got to give them credit; they played well, we played bad," Cooley said. "That's as bad as we've played all year. Even when we played bad before, we were in the game. We played listless today, we looked sluggish. Move on to the next game; this was a really bad performance."
NOTES: Providence senior point guard Vincent Council, who recently passed Ernie DiGregorio to become the Friars' all-time assists leader, captured the Big East record for career assists during the first half Wednesday. Council's third assist of the game was the 427th of his Big East career, breaking the mark set by Syracuse's Sherman Douglas from 1985-89. ... Syracuse has sold 35,012 tickets to Saturday's game against Georgetown at the Carrier Dome and has announced that the game is officially sold out. The attendance total will set a record -- the previous Dome record for a basketball game was 34,616 on Feb. 27, 2010, against Villanova. With the Orange headed to the Atlantic Coast Conference next season, it's the last time the longtime rivals will face each other as Big East opponents at the Dome. ... Providence senior forward Kadeem Batts (44 points, 12 rebounds in two games) and Syracuse senior guard Brandon Triche (a career-high 29 points vs. Seton Hall) were named to the Big East Honor Roll for their performances in last week's games. ... Former Orange standout Kris Joseph, who was recently released by the NBA's Boston Celtics, worked out at Syracuse while waiting to join his new D-League team in Springfield, Mass.