No. 7 Syracuse 72, Villanova 61: C.J. Fair scored 16 of his 22 points during the second half as the Orange recorded their sixth straight victory and extended their nation-best home winning streak to 34 games.
Jerami Grant had a career-high 13 points for Syracuse (16-1, 4-0 Big East), which announced prior to the contest that James Southerland was ruled out indefinitely due to an unspecified eligibility issue. The senior is the Orange's second-leading scorer at 13.6 points per game.
Mouphtaou Yarou collected his second straight double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds for Villanova (11-5, 2-1), which entered the game having defeated Syracuse in three of four contests in New York.
With leading scorer Brandon Triche hampered by foul trouble, Fair took it upon himself to ignite a second-half surge. Fair drilled a 3-pointer and scored nine of the Orange's initial 11 points in the session as Syracuse seized a 40-34 advantage.
After Achraf Yacoubou connected from beyond the arc to trim the Orange's lead to 44-43, Trevor Cooney drained back-to-back 3-pointers to highlight a 17-4 spurt as Syracuse pulled away.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Villanova's Ryan Arcidiacono, who is the Big East Rookie of the Week, struggled in his second consecutive game. After mustering just five points versus South Florida on Wednesday, the freshman was held scoreless in the first half and went 1-for-7 from 3-point range to finish with seven points. ... Both teams struggled mightily from beyond the arc. Syracuse went 4-for-14 while Villanova made just 5 of 23 attempts from 3-point range. ... Triche picked up his fourth foul just over three minutes into the second half. He remained on the bench for the majority of the session.