No. 1 Syracuse downs Bucknell
Syracuse, NY (Sports Network) - Kris Joseph scored 17 points and Scoop Jardine added 14, as top-ranked Syracuse cruised past Bucknell, 80-61, at the Carrier Dome.
Rakeem Christmas donated 10 points and Fab Melo posted eight points and nine rebounds for the well-balanced Orange, who improved to 12-0 for the third straight season and saw 10 players score in the rout.
"The difference in the game was in the first half when they had four or five wide open shots and they just missed them," Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said. "Our defense wasn't as active as it has been."
Mike Muscala led Bucknell (7-5) with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Ben Brackney added 11 points and Joe Willman registered 10 points and five assists in defeat.
The Orange got off to a quick start, opening an 11-4 edge on Dion Waiters' jumper 6 1/2 minutes in. Four straight from James Southerland, the last three on a straight-on trey pushed the home team's advantage to double digits at 19-8.
Melo's follow-up layup made the score 30-15 with about 4 1/2 minutes to play in the first half, and Joseph's three-pointer minutes later opened a 35-19 edge. The margin grew to as many as 20 points, 39-19, as Bucknell struggled with Syracuse's waves of size and speed.
Syracuse started the second half strong, opening a 45-24 lead on Brandon Triche's triple, but Bucknell showed some fight, scoring 12 of the next 17 points capped by Cameron Ayers' bucket for a 50-36 game with just under 14 minutes to play.
Back on their heels for just a minute or two, the Orange again charged forward, rattling off the next five points and holding error from the halfway mark to the horn.
Syracuse made 52.8 percent of its shots, including eight treys, and held Bucknell to a 37.3 field goal percentage...Melo also swatted three shots...Bucknell's last victory over a ranked opponent came at Syracuse in November 2005...Syracuse leads the all-time series, 9-1.
12/21 00:43:44 ET