No. 15 Golden Eagles Suffer 70-58 Defeat Against Syracuse
Jan. 7, 2007
MILWAUKEE (AP) - Eric Devendorf scored a season-high 20 points to help Syracuse upset No. 15 Marquette 70-58 on Sunday night.
It was the first victory in four games against ranked teams this season for the Orange (12-4, 1-1 Big East).
Marquette (13-4, 0-2) has lost its first two conference games for the first time in eight seasons under coach Tom Crean.
Syracuse had only two field goals in the final 9 minutes of the game, but managed to keep pace with the Golden Eagles by going to the free-throw line and holding Marquette's offense in check. The Orange held Golden Eagles guard Dominic James to a season-low six points.
Jerel McNeal led Marquette with 16 in his return to the starting lineup. McNeal sat out Marquette's loss at Providence on Thursday with a concussion after bumping heads with Wesley Matthews during practice Monday.
Syracuse went into a prolonged shooting slump after an acrobatic driving layup by Devendorf gave the Orange a 48-46 lead with 9:05 remaining. They managed to keep pace with an equally troubled Marquette offense by going to the free-throw line.
The Golden Eagles tied the game 55-55 on a 3-pointer by David Cubillan with 4:03 remaining. But Demetris Nichols' 3-pointer broke Syracuse's drought with 2:31 left, putting the Orange up 59-55. They outscored Marquette 11-3 the rest of the way.
In fast-paced game in which both squads occasionally played out of control on offense, each team had 12 turnovers at halftime. Marquette finished with 23 turnovers to equal its season high. Syracuse finished with 20.
The Golden Eagles struggled to shoot against Syracuse's zone defense, finishing 4-for-21 from 3-point range.
Marquette had never started conference play 0-2 in its first seven seasons under coach Tom Crean. The Golden Eagles lost at Providence 74-59 Thursday night.
Syracuse also began its Big East season with a loss, falling to No. 10 Pittsburgh at home Thursday - the first time since 1998-99 that the Orange had lost their conference opener.
The Orange had lost their first three games against ranked opponents this season - to Pittsburgh, and Wichita State and Oklahoma State in December.
Nichols had 17 points, rebounding from a subpar performance against Pittsburgh. But he didn't improve his shooting by much, going 5-for-16 from the field after scoring 11 points on 4-for-15 shooting against the Panthers.
Center Darryl Watkins scored 14 and added a team-high 10 rebounds. Senior forward Terrence Roberts scored eight in his second game back after missing two games with a sprained left knee.
Matthews added 14 points for Marquette.
It was the teams' first meeting since 1985, a 71-53 home victory for Syracuse. The Golden Eagles joined the Big East last season but did not face the Orange in conference play.