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Jardine, Syracuse top UConn

Feb 12, 2012 - 1:19 AM Syracuse, NY (Sports Network) - Scoop Jardine hit four three-pointers en route to a season-high 21 points, leading second-ranked Syracuse to an 85-67 victory over Connecticut at the Carrier Dome.

Dion Waiters added 18 points and Kris Joseph followed up his 29-point effort from Wednesday against Georgetown with 15 on Saturday, as the Orange (25-1, 12-1 Big East) notched their fifth straight win. C.J. Fair contributed 14 points and a career-high 12 rebounds in the victory.

The Orange were outrebounded 52-35 in the victory over Georgetown, causing Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim to question his team's ability on the glass. They responded with a better effort Saturday, posting a 31-29 edge.

Jeremy Lamb scored 18 points and Ryan Boatright added 14 for Connecticut (15-9, 5-7), which has lost two straight and six of its last seven.

The Huskies trailed the entire second half, but pulled within 63-61 with 6:26 to play on a free throw by Tyler Olander. Syracuse answered with an 18-1 run.

Jardine ignited it with three-pointers on consecutive possessions before Shabazz Napier made a free throw for Connecticut. Waiters then converted a three-point play and Jardine added a layup before Waiters scored the next four. Jardine then finished the burst with another shot from beyond the arc, giving the Orange a comfortable 81-62 cushion with just under a minute left.

Syracuse finished 10-for-16 from three-point range and shot 59.3 percent overall.

"Offensively, this is the best we've played the whole year," Boeheim said. "We made a lot of shots. When you make a lot of shots the game gets a lot easier. If we shot a lower percentage, we would have gotten beat. We got good looks and we made them."

Connecticut shot 44.2 percent and connected on 8-of-19 from beyond the arc.

UConn built a 10-5 lead early, but Syracuse answered with the next five and it stayed close until the Orange opened some breathing room with a 13-1 run. A jumper by Fab Melo ignited the burst, which was fueled by three-pointers from Jardine and James Southerland. A Fair dunk off a long lob feed from Jardine gave the Orange a 25-15 advantage with 8 1/2 minutes left in the first half.

The Huskies trimmed their deficit to three a few times, the last at 37-34 after a pair of free throws from Lamb, but the Orange scored the final six points and carried a 43-34 lead to the intermission.

Syracuse saw its lead dwindle to two with just over 12 1/2 minutes to play, but Fair hit a jumper, Joseph drained a three and Fair added a slam to give the Orange a 61-52 edge two minutes later.

Game Notes

Melo finished with eight points, three rebounds and three blocked shots for the Orange...Jardine missed just one of his nine shots and finished with six assists...Andre Drummond scored 13 for Connecticut, while Napier had 11 points and seven assists in defeat...UConn head coach Jim Calhoun missed his third straight game because of a back issue that has him on an indefinite medical leave...Syracuse improved to 17-0 at home this season...The attendance was 33,430 -- the largest this season and fourth-largest in Carrier Dome history.