for this game

Reynolds helps Villanova notch first Big East road win

Jan 19, 2008 - 9:35 PM SYRACUSE, New York (Ticker) -- Thanks in large part to Scottie Reynolds, Villanova no longer is winless on the road in Big East Conference play.

The sophomore guard scored 25 points to lead 21st-ranked Villanova to an 81-71 victory over Syracuse at the Carrier Dome on Saturday.

Villanova (13-3, 3-2 Big East) notched its second straight win after splitting a pair of home wins with two road losses in its first four conference games.

"This is huge," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "A win at Syracuse is big. It's a tough place to play. We're just going to take it."

The Wildcats took charge in the second half, opening a 65-59 lead on a jumper by Dante Cunningham with just over six minutes remaining.

The lead grew to 74-63 with three minutes left after freshman Corey Fisher drained a 3-pointer, followed by three free throws by Reynolds and two more from Fisher.

"That was a big shot," Reynolds said of Fisher's 3-pointer. "We like to get it into the middle of the zone, get offensive rebounds and kick it out for threes. That was just part of something we do."

The Orange (13-6, 3-3), who suffered their first home loss in conference play, closed to 74-67 with 2:32 left on a layup from Arinze Onuaku and a dunk by Paul Harris.

Villanova responded with six free throws down the stretch, including three by Reynolds, to put away the game.

"I thought the game really turned at the start of the second half," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "We didn't get back a couple times and they got right back in it."

Reynolds made a pair of free throws to give Villanova the lead for good at 50-49 with 12:33 remaining. He finished with four 3-pointers and also grabbed seven rebounds.

"He is a very good player and he is going to make shots," said Boeheim of Reynolds. "You have to be aware where he is, but he is going to score points. He is just coming off two 25-point games. He had five or six there at the end from the free-throw line when we had to foul."

Cunningham also had seven rebounds to go along with 14 points. Fisher finished with 15 points for Villanova, which shot 40 percent (23-of-58) from the floor.

Freshman Jonny Flynn scored 14 of his 23 points in the first half for Syracuse, which squandered a 35-30 lead at the break.

"In the first half, they did a great job and their crowd was into it," Reynolds said. "In the second half, we just came out and played. We weren't thinking too much, just playing."

Antonio Jardine added 15 points, freshman Donte Greene 12 and Onuaku had 10 and 10 rebounds for Syracuse. Greene, the Orange's leading scorer, fouled out with 5:25 left. Onuaku played the final 11 minutes with four fouls.

That was too much for the depleted Orange to overcome. They are already without guards Eric Devendorf and Andy Rautins, who were lost to season-ending knee injuries.

"Having one guy go out is tough enough," Flynn said. "But to have both of your horses down there in foul trouble, it makes things so hard. We made a lot of cheap fouls and that came back and bit us."

The Orange shot 39 percent (24-of-61) from the field.