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Jardine and Jackson help Syracuse get by Villanova

Feb 22, 2011 - 6:15 AM Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Scoop Jardine and Rick Jackson returned to their stomping grounds and combined for 38 points to carry No. 17 Syracuse past 15th-ranked Villanova, 69-64, in another close Big East battle.

Jardine notched 20 points and six assists and Jackson had 18 points, including the clinching free throws in the closing seconds for the Orange (23-6, 10-6 Big East), winners of three straight following a 2-6 stretch.

Brandon Triche scored 11 points to offset a quiet night from Syracuse's leading scorer, Kris Joseph, who netted seven.

Corey Stokes returned from a three-game absence to pace Villanova (21-7, 9-6) with 24 points. The senior guard shook off a turf toe injury and hit all five of the Wildcats' three-pointers, with the rest of the team missing all 16 of its long-range attempts.

Corey Fisher had an unusually cold shooting night, hitting just 3-of-16 from the field for eight points in the team's third loss in five games.

"We've got to find ways during this time when we're not making shots to win," said Villanova head coach Jay Wright. "We did it the last couple games. We didn't do it tonight."

Villanova shot 32 percent from the field but still pulled within one, 57-56, with 5 1/2 minutes left behind Stokes, who scored eight points during a 12-4 run.

With the help of Jardine and Jackson -- teammates at SS Neumann-Goretti High School, a short distance from Wells Fargo Center -- Syracuse stayed in front.

Jackson made it 63-60 on a mini hook with 2:14 to play, and James Bell missed two free throws at the other end, though a long offensive rebound gave the Wildcats an extended possession.

Fisher, however, missed his eighth and final try from behind the arc, and Triche got into the lane for a layup with 52 seconds showing.

Stokes sank a quick pull-up jumper, and Dion Waiters missed the front end of a 1-and-1 to give the hosts life. Isaiah Armwood drained two from the stripe with 21.7 seconds left, getting Villanova within 65-64, but a defensive breakdown foiled the comeback bid.

Jardine, trapped in the backcourt, somehow found an uncovered Waiters at the other end. Bell recovered enough to meet Waiters at the rim and got part ball, part body, sending his opponent to the plywood with a thud. The referee on the baseline appeared to call for an intentional or flagrant foul, but opted for a two-shot penalty after consulting with his colleagues.

Waiters calmly sank both attempts with 14.1 seconds left, and a sloppy Villanova possession resulted in a turnover, as a tentative Fisher passed up a shot at the top of the key, and Bell's jump-pass was picked off.

Jackson was sent to the line with 4.6 ticks showing and hit both tries to seal the win, giving Syracuse a measure of revenge following an 83-72 home loss at the hands of Villanova last month.

"I thought our big guys did a pretty good job of, when they did drive, make them take a tough shot," said Orange head coach Jim Boeheim. "In Syracuse, we just let them have too many open threes. I thought we did a much better job here. But again, they missed some."

It was an ugly offensive display by both squads over the opening 10 minutes. Syracuse went the first three-plus minutes without scoring and 'Nova hit just one of its first 17 shots from the field.

The Orange went on a 13-1 run during the Wildcats' lengthy cold stretch, and led 29-22 before the hosts scored five points in the final 30 seconds of the half to pull within two at the break.

Both offenses were more efficient in the second half, but the Orange still controlled the tempo. A Jackson layup capped a 7-0 run to put them up 47-38 with just under 14 minutes remaining.

Game Notes

Fisher, who was coming off a career-high 34-point effort in an overtime win against DePaul on Saturday, had made 52.5 percent of his three-point tries in the previous 10 games...Armwood totaled 12 points and 10 rebounds in the loss...Joseph scored less than half his season average (15.0 ppg), but added eight rebounds and five assists...Both teams secured 39 rebounds, but Syracuse scored 14 more points in the paint...Villanova's last game at Wells Fargo Center comes against up-and-coming St. John's on Saturday...Syracuse plays at Georgetown on Saturday before closing its regular season at home against DePaul on March 5.