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No. 3 Syracuse tops WVU amid controversy

Jan 29, 2012 - 10:16 AM Syracuse, NY (Sports Network) - No. 3 Syracuse snuck past West Virginia, 63-61, but Saturday's finish at the Carrier Dome was marred by controversy.

With West Virginia down by two, Darryl Bryant missed a three-pointer for the Mountaineers. Deniz Kilicli grabbed a big offensive rebound and went up for a layup. However, Baye Keita pinned the ball against the glass in what seemed to be an easy goaltending call.

The whistles stayed silent on the court, however, and West Virginia kept the ball with 6.2 seconds to go after Kris Joseph fell out of bounds. But Kevin Jones' shot from beyond the arc was off the mark as time expired.

Afterward, West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins was frustrated by what he thought was a blown call at the end of the game. No one needed to tell him whether it was goaltending or not.

"Did I think it was? No. I know it was. I just saw the replay," Huggins said.

Brandon Triche had 18 points for the Orange (22-1, 9-1 Big East), who have won two in a row since a loss to Notre Dame on January 21. Kris Joseph added 13 points and seven rebounds.

Syracuse improved to 15-0 at the Carrier Dome this season.

"We did a good job defensively and then when Kris got the ball I don't know what he was thinking," Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. "I don't know, I have no clue. He just has to hold the ball and the game is over. The offense, and based on that play alone, we probably should have lost the game. We played good defense and we challenged. With that loose ball the game should have been over."

Jones ended with 20 points and eight boards for the Mountaineers (15-7, 5-4), who have dropped two straight. Bryant and Gary Browne donated 12 and 11 points, respectively.

With the score tied at 56, the Mountaineers turned the ball over on a shot clock violation. Joseph recorded a three-point play at the other end to give the Orange a 59-56 edge with three minutes to play.

Jabarie Hinds' floater in the lane got WVU within one, but Joseph's layup off Dion Waiters' missed three-pointer put Syracuse ahead by three again.

Jones responded with a three-pointer from the corner to tie the game at 61 with 1:37 left. Triche made two free throws at the opposite end to put the Orange back on top.

Hinds and Jones each missed shots from beyond the arc for the Mountaineers. Waiters failed to make a fadeaway jumper for the Orange, leading to the final chain of events.

West Virginia led for most of the first half and held a 22-16 margin on Jones' three-pointer with 7:36 remaining.

But Syracuse finished the frame on a 12-2 run to take a 28-24 lead at the break.

Triche's three-pointer and layup early in the second half gave the home team a six-point lead, 33-27, which proved to be the largest difference the rest of the way.

Game Notes

Syracuse leads the all-time series by a 34-16 margin. West Virginia fell to 3-22 at Syracuse and 1-10 against the Orange in the Carrier Dome. WVU's only win at the Carrier Dome against Syracuse was a 101-79 decision on December 4, 1996...Syracuse center Fab Melo missed his third straight game due to academic issues...WVU turned the ball over 17 times.