for this game

Anderson, Villanova hold on to beat Syracuse

Feb 23, 2009 - 12:37 AM SYRACUSE, New York (Ticker) -- Dwayne Anderson's career day prevented Jim Boeheim from reaching a career milestone.

Anderson scored a career-high 22 points Sunday afternoon, leading No. 14 Villanova to an 89-86 victory over 25th-ranked Syracuse.

It was the ninth win in the last 10 games for the Wildcats (22-5, 10-4 Big East), who have won five of their last six meetings with the rival Orange (19-8, 7-7). Villanova all but secured the fifth spot in the conference standings, moving three games ahead of the Orange.

Syracuse missed a chance to record a historic victory for Boeheim, who needs one more win to pass the legendary Dean Smith and become the first coach in Division I history to have 31 seasons with at least 20 wins.

"I thought we battled about as hard as we could battle at the end," Boeheim said. "I thought offensively we did not make some 3-point shots that we had to make to come from behind and win. We battled about as hard as we can."

A senior who had never eclipsed the 20-point mark in his first 86 collegiate games, Anderson shot 8-of-14 from the floor and sank four shots from beyond the arc to pace six Villanova players in double figures.

Corey Fisher scored 16 points while Shane Clark added 15 and eight rebounds for the Wildcats, who swept their season series with the Orange.

"We just came together," Clark said. "We didn't change anything and just went out there and defended."

Dante Cunningham, who scored a career-high 31 points in Villanova's win over Syracuse two weeks ago, finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds in this one while Reggie Redding chipped in 11 points.

Eric Devendorf scored 22 points while Paul Harris added 21 for Syracuse, which missed a chance to force overtime when Jonny Flynn missed a potential tying 3-pointer just before the buzzer.

"We had no control," Wright said. "I was just watching and praying. They got some good looks. Sometimes you're lucky, sometimes you're not."

Syracuse took a 59-57 lead when Andy Rautins sank a 3-pointer with 13 minutes remaining, capping a 14-2 run for the Orange.

But the Wildcats responded with an 11-0 run punctuated by Anderson's dunk that made it 68-59 with just under 10 minutes left.