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Jackson, Syracuse beat Cincy to remain undefeated

Jan 15, 2011 - 8:21 PM Syracuse, NY (Sports Network) - Rick Jackson scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help offset the loss of leading scorer Kris Joseph, as fourth- ranked Syracuse remained undefeated with a 67-52 victory over No. 25 Cincinnati at the Carrier Dome.

Jackson made 7-of-8 shots and notched his 11th double-double of the season for the Orange (18-0, 5-0 Big East), who are off to the second-best start in school history. Syracuse will try to match the 19-0 start by the 1999-2000 team on Monday night with a titanic matchup at fifth-ranked Pittsburgh.

Joseph, who entered the contest leading the Orange with 15.3 points per game, left the court in the first half after hitting his head on the floor and did not return. He played just 10 minutes and scored only two points.

"Kris went down hard; I don't have any idea what's going on," said Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim. "We won't know anything for sure [about playing Monday]. He got banged pretty good when he hit the floor. We really just have to wait and see. Hopefully it won't be long, we'll have to wait and see the next couple days."

Scoop Jardine added 11 points and seven assists in the victory, while Brandon Triche also scored 11. Dion Waiters and James Southerland each contributed eight points for the Orange, who started the first half with an 18-3 run and opened the second half with 16 straight points.

"We have a deep bench," Jardine said. "We haven't really had that in previous years. We play nine or 10 guys every game now. That can only help us."

Dion Dixon drained six three-pointers and scored 18 points for the Bearcats (16-2, 3-2), who have dropped two of their last three after opening the season with 15 straight wins. Cincinnati lost at Villanova last Saturday and followed it up with a home win over South Florida on Wednesday.

Syracuse scored the first nine points of the game before Yancy Gates converted a three-point play for Cincinnati nearly four minutes into the contest. The Orange followed with the next nine and built an 18-3 cushion on a three- pointer by Jardine with 12 1/2 minutes left in the half.

The Bearcats quickly cut the deficit with a trio of three-pointers in a 9-2 run that made it 20-12 midway through the half and Cincinnati pulled within four on a three-pointer by Dixon with 3 1/2 minutes to play before the break.

Triche then converted a pair of steals into layups to give Syracuse a 33-25 lead, but Dixon drilled a pair of shots from beyond the arc to pull Cincinnati within two before C.J. Fair's layup at the buzzer sent the Orange to the locker room with a 35-31 lead.

Syracuse opened the second half similarly to the first, but did so in even more dominating fashion. The Orange scored the first 16 points after the intermission, led by five apiece from Triche and Southerland, and a Fab Melo bucket made it 51-31 with just over 14 minutes remaining.

"Cincinnati is a real good team and to start the second half like that, with that run, we played the best offense we played in a long time against a good defensive team," Boeheim remarked.

Sean Kilpatrick finally ended Cincinnati's drought on the ensuing possession and the Bearcats clawed to within 11 on a Justin Jackson basket with 6 1/2 minutes to play. A layup by Kilpatrick with 2:20 left made it a 61-52 game, but Waiters stemmed the tide with a three-pointer at the other end and the Bearcats never scored again.

Syracuse shot 56.3 percent from the field and held Cincinnati to just 30.5 percent. The Bearcats stayed in the game by making 11-of-28 from three-point range.

Game Notes

Jackson was coming off a 6-for-6 performance from the field in Wednesday's victory over St. John's...Dixon was 6-of-11 from beyond the arc...Kilpatrick scored 11 points for Cincinnati...Syracuse was just 7-of-13 from the free throw line...The Orange dominated the boards with a 41-28 edge...Melo had six points, four rebounds and four blocked shots...Syracuse leads the all-time series, 6-2...Cincinnati next visits Notre Dame on Wednesday.