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Syracuse 67 - Cincinnati 52: Live By The Three, Die By The Three

The good thing about watching an opponent with a hot-hand beyond the three-point line in the first half that is you know it's going to be impossible for them to keep up that pace in the second half. So if you can withstand their hot streak and still have a lead at the half, you're in good shape. Such was the case when the Bearcats came out ice-cold in the second half and the Orange cruised to a 67-52 victory.

With its leading scorer in the locker room with an injury, Syracuse scored the first 16 points to start the second half to fuel a 67-52 victory over No. 25 Cincinnati on Saturday afternoon at the Carrier Dome.

Syracuse made its game-clinching run while forcing Cincinnati to miss 18 of its first 20 field goal attempts to start the second half.

The win wasn't without its downside. Kris Joseph bumped his head hard against the floor late in the first half and did not return. He was taken to the hospital after the game. No one's saying it yet but the fear is that he's suffered a concussion and could miss an extended period of games, let along Monday's showdown with Pitt.

While Syracuse fans wait for good news on Kris, they have to enthused by the good play of Fab Melo in  the second half. After a first half that saw him pick up three fouls, no one expect Fab to do anything on consequence for the rest of the game. Instead, Melo became a spark plug, swatting four shots, scoring six clutch points and shifting the momentum for his team. By the time he left the game for good, he received a standing ovation.

For the first time in a while, it looked like Fab was having fun.

"I think (what) I do the best is block shots," Melo said. "When I had the block, he tried to dunk on me. A lot of people try to dunk on me in practice. So he try to dunk on me, I say ‘No, you’re not!’ I have fun doing that – blocking shots.

Nice game from James Southerland, who stepped it up in Joseph's absence. He scored eight, grabbed eight boards and put in 25 minutes of work.

Scopp and Triche contributed eleven points each. Scoop also added seven assists, though he once again offset that with five turnovers. Such is Scoop. Scoop loves to talk about himself as a veteran leader in post-game interviews, it would just be nice if he'd stop making such rookie mistakes.

Speaking of Triche, we might need start calling him Mr. Big East:

Triche scored 11 points on 5-for-9 field goal shooting against the Bearcats. In Syracuse’s five Big East contests, Triche is now 25-for-44 from the field (56.8 percent) and 10-for-21 (47.6 percent) from 3-point range. He’s averaging 12.4 points in conference games.

Baye Moussa Keita added three blocks, which combined with Jackson's (2) and Fab's (4) makes for an impressive frontcourt if they can keep this up. The future looks bright in that department.

Finally, Dion Waiters. Dude can get up there. Nice dunk.

And now, we come to Pittsburgh, the first "real" road game of the season. The Orange are 18-0 but as far as most people seem to be concerned, that's meaningless. How they fare in this one will determine the reputation for this squad. Win and your 19-0 start is justified. Lose and all those "don't play any games outside Planet Earth" cries will only get louder. Not to mention this might just be a showdown between the top two teams in the best conference in the nation (Sorry, Dickie V).

  • SU-Cincinnati Recap: The Sunny Side...Brent Axe
  • SU-Cincinnati Recap: The Dark Side...Brent Axe
  • SU-Cincinnati Recap: This, That, and the Other Thing...Brent Axe
  • SU starts 2nd half on 16-0 run to pull away from Cincinnati, stay perfect...Daily Orange
  • SU's 2nd-half defense shuts down perimeter, frustrates Cincinnati shooters...Daily Orange
  • Syracuse basketball notes: A technical foul and a Cincinnati injury...Donna Ditota
  • Fort Drum soldiers watch Syracuse win; Triche plays key role again...Mike Waters
  • Good game, good game...Cuse Country
  • Syracuse Slays the Bearcats...Three Idiots on Sports
  • 'Unexpected' Trio Lead Syracuse Past Cincinnati, 67-52...SB Nation New York