No. 4 Syracuse edges No. 10 Florida 72-68Dec 3, 2011 - 4:03 AM
It was Syracuse's second game since longtime associate head coach Bernie Fine was fired on Sunday after being accused by three men of molestation, including two former Syracuse ball boys.
The Orange have won five in a row since the story first broke two weeks ago.
An emotional Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim apologized for what he stated were "insensitive" initial statemants made in his prior comments in his postgame press conference.
"I believe I misspoke very badly in my response to the allegations that have been made. I shouldn't have questioned what the accusers expressed or their motives. I am really sorry that I did that, and I regret any harm that I caused," he said. "It was insensitive to individuals involved and especially to the overall issue of child abuse.
"What I said was out of loyalty. I reacted without thinking. I couldn't believe what I was hearing (about Fine). I'm trying to learn from my mistake. This has been a hard time."
Jardine also dished out seven assists, grabbed four rebounds and added four steals for the Orange (8-0), who forced 20 Florida turnovers and out-rebounded the Gators, 17-10, on the offensive glass.
Brandon Triche scored 20 points and Kris Joseph added 14 points and five rebounds in the win.
Florida (5-2) came into the contest leading the country in three-pointers made per game with 12. But Syracuse's vaunted zone-defense clamped down on the Gators' perimeter game, limiting them to just 9-of-26 from three-point range.
In fact, Erving Walker was the only Gator to hit from beyond the arc in the first half, connecting on 3-of-5 attempts. The rest of the Gators were 0- for-9.
"I'm surprised. I thought they missed more shots than they did. I thought they were helping us but in the second half, they shot 50 percent from the three and 53 percent from the field. We shot 38 percent from the field and 23 percent from the three. I look at that and I say, 'who won this game?' It doesn't look like we would win this game with those numbers. It's shocking. Those numbers are important," Boeheim said.
Kenny Boynton kept the Gators in the game with four second-half threes and finished the game with 22 points.
After Syracuse took its largest lead of the game, 39-30, the Gators responded with an 11-2 run to knot the game at 41 with 11:25 remaining after Boynton knocked down a three-pointer from the right wing.
Jardine then took over for the Orange with a couple of tough layups and a backbreaking three-pointer from the left wing to give Syracuse a 61-53 advantage with 3:54 remaining.
The Orange made their free throws down the stretch to preserve the win.
Triche, Joseph and Fab Melo paced the way with seven first-half points for the Orange, who carried a 31-27 lead into the break.
Jardine eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau in the win...Syracuse has won three of four against the Gators all-time, although this was the first game in the series that wasn't played on a neutral floor...It's the fourth consecutive year that the Orange have started the season 8-0.
- FLORIDA: 68
Dec 2 9:00 PM
- FLORIDA: 27
Dec 2 7:47 PM
- FLORIDA: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Dec 2 7:04 PM
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- Syracuse reserve center Chinonso Obokoh transferring Apr 7
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