No. 17/20 Syracuse (23-6, 10-6) won its sixth game over a ranked team, beating No. 15/14 Villanova 69-64 on the road Monday night. The six wins over ranked opponents ties the Orange with Texas for most wins over ranked opponents this season. Forward Rick Jackson and guard Scoop Jardine, both from the Philadelphia area, combined for 38 points for Syracuse. Jackson finished with 18 points, five rebounds and four blocks, while Jardine had a team-high 20 points and six assists.
Syracuse, which lost to Villanova (21-7, 9-6) earlier this season, used solid free-throw shooting down the stretch to hold off the Wildcats. The Orange entered the game as the worst free throw shooting team in the conference, but shot 13-of-17 from the charity stripe on Monday night. On the other side, Villanova, which ranked No. 1 in the conference in free throw shooting, struggled from the foul line in the contest, hitting just 17-of-27.
The Wildcats were led by Corey Stokes, who scored 24 points in his return to the lineup after missing three games with turf toe. Villanova had a chance to tie the game in the waning seconds, as the Wildcats had the ball down three points with 15 seconds remaining. VU turned the ball over on a cross court pass, and Rick Jackson sealed the game with a pair of foul shots with five seconds left.
Tuesday’s schedule has Louisville visiting Rutgers at 9 p.m. on ESPNU. The Cardinals are 9-1 all-time against Rutgers including 4-1 in BIG EAST play. The lone win in the series for the Scarlet Knights came on Jan. 28, 2006.